No Change For City Treasurer/Recorder

At least not in February according to Loudon County Election Commissioner, Dana Zehner. According to Zehner, the State Constitution only permits a home rule municipality, such as Lenoir City, to put the question of a Charter change on state general elections which are held in November.

A charter or amendment may be proposed by ordinance of any home rule municipality, by a charter commission provided for by act of the General Assembly and elected by the qualified voters of a home rule municipality voting thereon or, in the absence of such act of the General Assembly, by a charter commission of seven (7) members, chosen at large not more often than once in two (2) years, in a municipal election pursuant to petition for such election signed by qualified voters of a home rule municipality not less in number than ten (10%) percent of those voting in the then most recent general municipal election.

It shall be the duty of the legislative body of such municipality to publish any proposal so made and to submit the same to its qualified voters at the first general state election which shall be held at least sixty (60) days after such publication and such proposal shall become effective sixty (60) days after approval by a majority of the qualified voters voting thereon.
Tennessee Constitution Article 11 Section 9

According to city administrator Dale Hurst, Mayor Matt Brookshire and "some city councilmen" had requested that he find out what it would take to have the position of City Treasurer/Recorder changed from elected to appointed by council. It was discovered that a ballot measure was the only way to change the position established by the City Charter. The mayor and "some city councilmen" had hoped to have the question on the February 5th ballot.

Ms. Zehner reported that the charter change question could be placed on the November 2008 election ballot. However candidates seeking to fill the position would also be on the ballot. Any attempt to alter the charter in the November election could cause a lot of confusion or prohibit candidates from seeking the position.

If Loudon County Election Commissioner, Dana Zehner's position is correct, the city has put it's self in the awkward position of putting the cart way before the horse. Trying to eliminate the elected City Treasurer/Recorder position at the same time that candidates are running for the office could create a lot of undue confusion and chaos for the voters and the candidates. Maybe council should see this as an omen and leave well enough alone.