The voters of Royal Oak will be faced with some important decisions when they go to the polls on Nov. 5. In addition to electing three City Commissioners and deciding on a human rights ordinance, they will be asked to consider three amendments to the City Charter.
The amendments came from recommendations from the Charter Review Committee that were approved by the City Commission. Amending the City Charter is an ongoing process. The task of the Charter Review Committee is to examine potential changes to the City Charter, and to make recommendations based on simplifying and modernizing language, as well as updating it to ensure that is in line with current practices and State law. Voters last approved changes to the Charter in 2011.
This election, voters are asked to consider the following amendments:
Proposal 1 would lower the age of eligibility to be Mayor or a City Commissioner from 25 years old to 21 years old. This proposal is designed to bring the City Charter in line with current Federal and State guidelines, as well as to allow for a larger number of citizens to participate in the election process.
Proposal 2 would remove the requirement that a person be a freeholder (real estate property owner) in order to hold elected office. Numerous Federal and State court rulings and Michigan Attorney General opinions have held that this requirement is unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable. The proposal, if enacted, would bring the Charter in line with State law.
Proposal 3 would allow the City Assessor and City Treasurer to be appointed by the City Manager. In 2005 voters approved amending the Charter to have the City Finance Director appointed by and report to the City Manager. As the City Assessor and City Treasurer report to the City Finance Director, this proposal seeks to simplify and modernize the Charter by allowing these positions to be appointed by the City Manager.
Source: Royal Oak Charter Review Committee