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Bryan Changes Charter

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

A city's charter is like its constitution, the foundation for organizing and operating a city. But it's been over a decade since Bryan has made any changes to its charter.

Susan McKneely is the heading up the committee assigned to recommend changes.

"It's a big responsibility, but I think we'll prove ourselves equal to the task," says McKneely.

Specifically, their task is in four parts.

First, determine whether the city auditor should be appointed by City Council instead of the city manager.

Secondly, review current state law and bring the charter into compliance.

Next, get rid of any outdated wording or procedures.

And finally, consider if council members should be paid more than their current salary of $10 a month.

"I'm not real sure what $10 a month does for a City Council member and why they get a stipend in the first place, there will be a lot of interesting discussions," says McKneely.

Much like the ones another committee had in 1994, the last time the charter was revised. A major issue of debate was council members’ pay.

"There was an argument made that if you actually paid council members you would have more qualified people to run, but on the other side a council member should serve because they want to give back to this great community," says Patrick Meece.

Meece was on the last committee and says the group vetoed increasing council member's pay by a single vote, but as a whole, the committee's job is not to just focus on one topic, but all that may come up.

"Think outside the box, chase rabbit trails because you never know. One of the items that's not on the agenda so to speak may be a better way of doing things," says Meece.

Once the committee has looked at all the issues, they'll make a recommendation to the council, but that's at least a year away.


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