Charter revision draft would shift power to mayor

January 27, 1994|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

In a work session last night on revisions to the Manchester town charter, the Town Council began to shift power to the office of the mayor.

After a brief business meeting, the council met to consider the first draft of revisions to the town charter. When the charter revision is completed, the town code will also be revamped.

Three council members said last night they favor rescinding a key provision of a controversial charter amendment passed last year. That amendment increased the council's power to fire the town manager, at the expense of the mayor's power.

Before the amendment was passed, the town manager could be fired by the mayor or by a vote of four of the five council members. After the amendment was passed, the council could fire the town manager with a three-fifths vote.

Residents challenged that amendment. However, a petition to bring the matter to referendum failed for lack of signatures.

Last night, Councilwoman Charlotte Collett, Councilman Chris D'Amario and Councilman Robert Kolodziejski said they favor going back to the old provision.

If the change is approved when the charter revision is made final, the power to fire the town manager will revert to the mayor, or to the council upon a four-fifths vote.

The mayor's hand will be strengthened further if the council decides to give the mayor a vote in conducting council business.

Mrs. Collett said last night the mayor should be given such a vote.

Town attorney Charles O. Fisher Jr. said that change would be legal under Maryland law, but he urged the council to "think it through."

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