City of Denton prepared to make a “wholesale rewrite” of its charter, Mayor said

City of Denton prepared to make a “wholesale rewrite” of its charter, Mayor said

City of Denton prepared to make a “wholesale rewrite” of its charter, Mayor said
October 12
16:35 2016

The Denton City Council launched early stages of the process to review the city charter on Tuesday.

In a previous work session, the council held a discussion regarding potential revisions to the charter and requested that a resolution be prepared for Oct. 11. The charter has not been revised since 2009, and the conversation was originally spurred by citizens’ call for an formal ethics ordinance to be adopted by Denton local government.

But with only one vote for a change to the charter every two years, the prospective changes include more than provisions relating to ethics.

“We’re dealing with a wholesale rewrite,” Mayor Chris Watts said. “Potentially, on the charter, on some very, very important decisions.”

First assistant city attorney Aaron Leal presented the seven areas for possible modification to the current charter discussed during the prior meeting. Currently the mayor and two members of the council are elected at-large, meaning they can be voted for by all citizens of the city. Potential alterations will see the make-up Denton city government change, with six proposed single-member districts and one at-large mayoral district.

But in order to make changes to the city charter, each council member must appoint three Denton citizens to a review committee. The 21 nominees will then be broken into sub-committees of seven and asked to reflect over changes formally prepared by the council.

Council members also discussed the progression of recruiting a city auditor and the process of hiring a city manager. Over the next months, the council will meet with staff and give direction over a series of candidates for both positions.

The brochure for the city of Denton was approved and will pursue adequate candidates for the position of city auditor. The city auditor finalists will be chosen and interviewed by council in early January.

The Downtown Reinvestment Grant Program, a program that provides cash reimbursement grants to businesses for improvements to buildings in the downtown area, will also see changes. Improvements may include new awnings, signs and utility upgrades for certain businesses. The council will continue to deliberate over whether the grant should be extended to any small businesses on Fry Street, Dallas Drive and on the Interstate-35 corridor.

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Madison Wilie

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