Want to change city government? Charter Commission wants to know

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May 9, 2005 // UPDATED 1:54 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Scott Russell
Scott Russell

The Minneapolis City Charter Commission is asking for public comments on the city's current government structure - such as whether it's time to change the strong City Council/weak mayor form of government and various independent boards.

People are encouraged to attend public hearings: May 18, 7 p.m. at Folwell Park, 1615 Dowling Ave. N., and May 25, 7 p.m., at Lynnhurst Park, 1345 W. Minnehaha Pkwy. or submit written comments.

A recent Star Tribune editorial series criticized the city's complex organization and the diffuse accountability. Others say the current city structure promotes citizen participation and access to decision-makers.

According to a news release, the Commission is interested in hearing the public's views on whether the powers of the Mayor and the City Council should remain the same, get tweaked or whether Minneapolis should adopt some other form of municipal governance.

The Commission is interested in public comments on the functions and powers of the independent boards - the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Minneapolis Library Board, and the Board of Estimate and Taxation - and whether they should be continued, expanded, reduced or eliminated.

Address comments to Commission Chair Jim Bernstein. Send them to Julie Bartell, City Clerk's Office, Room 304, 350 S. 5th St., Minneapolis, MN 55415 or e-mailed Jbartell@ci.minneapolis.mn.us by Friday, May 13.

People who wish to speak at the public hearing may sign up at the event. Questions? Call Bartell at 673-2296.

The Minneapolis Charter Commission is a volunteer board of 15 Commissioners appointed by the Chief Judge of the Hennepin County District Court and is responsible for reviewing and formulating changes to the City's Charter.