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Board approves Private Act amending new City Charter

By Bill ShortFlag City Logo

The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously adopted a resolution this week that ratifies a Private Act amending the new City Charter.
Board members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Mike Caruthers and seconded by Alderman Frankie Dakin.
At its Feb. 17 meeting, the board proposed the Charter amendments and voted to submit them to the 108th session of the Tennessee General Assembly. Last month, the state legislature enacted Chapter 51 of the Private Acts of 2014, which approved the amendments.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed Private Chapter 51 on April 28, and Secretary of State Tre Hargett certified its adoption the next day. But to become effective, it had to be ratified by at least five of the seven Millington aldermen within 60 days after it was signed by the governor.
The resolution states that the Charter amendments became effective Monday night, and it directs Mayor Terry Jones to “certify” the board’s action to Hargett.
City Attorney Charles Perkins has said the amendments are designed to make Millington operate “more efficiently and effectively.”
By a majority vote, the board will now have the power to issue subpoenas for witnesses to testify for “all lawful purposes.” The same power will exist when the board is acting as the city’s Beer Board.
Although the number of readings required for passage of an ordinance has been reduced from three to two, at least one of the readings must be at a “regularly scheduled meeting.” Also, at the final passage of an ordinance, the full reading of it into the record will be waived unless an alderman requests it.
While acknowledging that it does not require a Charter amendment, Dakin has recommended that a public hearing be conducted at the first reading of each ordinance instead of the final one.
The city manager will be selected on the basis of training, experience and any other administrative qualifications without regard to the person’s political or religious preferences, current or former agency or town appointment. The procedure for selection of the city manager can be determined by the board through adoption of a resolution.
If there is a vacancy in the office of city manager, the chief financial officer will “act as and have the responsibility” of the purchasing agent.
By a two-thirds vote, the board can waive the requirement that the city manager establish a residence in Millington within 90 days of appointment and maintain it for the duration of employment.
Before the amendments, the Charter required aldermen to deal with city employees indirectly through the city manager, except to obtain information to fulfill their duties. Now, an alderman can “make inquiry” from a city employee regarding “any particular matter” for which the employee has responsibility.
By a majority vote, the board can now appoint the City Court clerk, instead of requiring the clerk’s election by Millington’s residents.

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