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City Council finalizes ordinances for July charter government transition

 

Last updated 5/18/2021 at 11:58am



The process of Havre’s transition to a charter government from a commission-executive government continues after May’s second City Council meeting Monday night.

Each of the ordinances — No. 914 through No. 921 — were read for a second time and each was approved for final passage without issue.

• Ordinance No. 914 set the effective date for the transition, July, 1.

• Ordinance No. 915 moves ordinances, debt obligations, and everyone who’s currently in office to the new form of government. Anything related to finances and ordinances automatically transition except those amended at the council’s meeting on May 3.

“We’re not really changing anything in our ordinances, it’s pretty much taking the wording and moving forward. But we could at this point change something if we wanted to,” Havre Mayor Tim Solomon said at the May 3 meeting where the ordinances had their first readings.

• Ordinance No. 916 pertains to newly appointed City Council members. The council simply made language changes to bring this ordinance into compliance with what is specified in the charter and statute.

• Ordinance No. 917 pertains to the fire marshal and deputy fire marshal. With this ordinance, the charter mandates all executive appointments be made by the mayor, and then approved with the advice and consent of the council.

• Ordinance No. 918 created and established Havre’s City Tree Commission. Solomon said at the May 3 meeting Havre is required to have this commission as part of Tree City USA. The commission helps review tree ordinances.

• Ordinance No. 919 clarifies how the chief of police is appointed and the number of patrol officers. Language of the ordinance was cleaned up after the city attorney noted there were some incongruities.

• Ordinance No. 920 deals with mutual aid agreements negotiated by the mayor. The language of this ordinance was also cleaned up.

“This ordinance brings it into compliance with the charter that says the mayor can do those actions, but it must be approved by the council,” Council member Andrew Brekke said at the May 3 meeting.

• Ordinance No. 921 modifies the calculation of building permit fees, which had not been updated since roughly 1991. The ordinance allows for periodic adjustment to the building permit fee schedule by resolution.

Brekke said at the May 3 meeting that the increase in fees would be minimal.

The council will hold its next meeting June 7 at 7 p.m.

 

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