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October 1962

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City Planning Notes

Our committee has for some time been concerned because, due to an oversight in our City Charter, ex-officio members of the City Planning Commission are voting members. The Charter says simply, "The managing director and budget director of the city shall be members ex-officio of the commission." It does not say "Ex-officio without vote" so they vote.

Since in earlier communication with city councilmen on this matter they seemed to share our concern, and since we felt this matter was urgent, we wrote to them again, urging action to amend the pertinent section of the Charter.

Chairman Doi replied on July 23 that the Council had referred this matter to its Legislative Committee for action in the next session of the State Legislature this coming spring.

This sent us back to our charters, since we were quite sure the above is not the Charter-designated procedure for amending the Charter. We were right; and on Aug. 3 we wrote again to Mr. Doi referring him to the provisions mentioned under Article XIII, Sections 13-101 and 13-102, which says amendments are initiated (a) by Council resolution or (b) by petition by 10% of the voters and then submitted to the voters at the next general election. We expressed our preference for (a).

We suggested that "wherever possible, the elected officials of the city should retain and use the authority vested in them by the Charter." We are still awaiting a reply.

If this fall's general election is allowed to go by without any vote being taken to amend Sec. 5-504 of the Charter, we cannot be expected to repress such embarrassing questions as "Who stands to gain by the present arrangement?"

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