Charter amendments pass overwhelmingly

November 5, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

By an overwhelming majority, 792 for to 422 against, the voters of the city of Portsmouth said they wanted to see changes in the City Charter.

Those changes run the gamut from adding the letter “e” to the word “therefor(e)” to now requiring those holding the elected offices of City Solicitor and City Auditor to live in the city for three years prior to an election, and to maintain residency in the city, to giving the new city manager the responsibility of working with the city unions and their contracts, and finally changing the Charter amendment that forced anyone who signed a petition to pledge to vote for that candidate.

“These were the recommendations of the Charter Revision Committee of 1996,” First Ward Councilman Kevin W. Johnson said. “I simply resurrected them and chose five to present to the voters.”

In 1928 there were no collective bargaining agreements, and by the passage of the Charter amendments, that part of the city’s operation was brought up to date. Some referred to it as simply cleaning up the Charter and bringing it up to date.

“We also changed some little things, for example, in the Charter it is called Director of Civil Service. We don’t have a Director. We have a Secretary,” Johnson said. “This takes care of that.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.