Thursday, July 7, 2011

Commerce City Planning Commission Request for Charter Amendment...

Any Charter Amendment would need to go to the vote of the citizens in Commerce City...

Letter from Commerce City Planning Commission to the Commerce City Council: The Planning Commission formally requests that City Council sponsor an amendment to the City Charter removing council members as voting members from the City's boards or commissions. As this request relates to the duties of the Planning Commission, we believe that the two members of City Council who sit on the Planning Commission are tasked with the awkward responsibility of, after hearing testimony and making a recommendation at the Planning Commission meeting, erasing the testimony and evidence of the Planning Commission meeting from their minds so that they can re-evaluate the same ease at a new hearing before the City Council.

We know that the City's current arrangement is consistent with the membership and approval process that the legislature created for statutory cities. However, we believe that most home rule municipalities have moved away from this set up; we believe it is time for the City of Commerce City to do so as well. With a population of more than 45,000, the City now has an abundance of educated and experienced citizens who are interested and willing to serve. By removing Council members from the Planning Commission, it eliminates the issue of having Council members hear the same case twice and provides more opportunity for our citizens to become involved in government.

As a separate matter, we also request that City Council consider reviewing its process for appointing new members to City boards and commissions. We believe that appointing new members to a board from those who currently serve as an alternate on such would result in better educated and experienced members and would ensure better consistency in decisions.

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