Next Events – August

    Next events

    Kick-off meetings  (You only need to come to one)

    Saturday August 21 10AM, Court House
    Thursday August 26 7:15 PM  Court House

    At these meetings, we will :

  1. Again briefly review what we are doing and why (Goal: to ensure that our city charter (still) provides the best possible framework for the government of the City of Pine Lake)
  2. Hear about the last time the charter was reviewed thoroughly (10 min. with discussion)
  3. Hear in detail what public officials have identified as issues to examine; so far
    • Form of government: Is the strong mayor – weak council form of government still serving us well?
    • Administration: Does the charter go into the optimum level of detail about job descriptions?  As the nature of the work in the city changes, we might want more freedom to change what various employees do.  Right now, the charter is quite specific about some of that.
    • Fiscal year: Should we change the start of the fiscal year to start closer to the time when DeKalb delivers tax $ to us?
    • Removal process
    • Banning officials removed from office from ever serving again: should this be up to the voters?
    • I will interview council members and city employees in more depth so that I have more input and more detail, as requested at the Town Hall meeting on August 7.
  4. Hear from citizens about areas in which they feel they charter does not serve us well
  5. Identify the issues that this group of people feels are most important to investigate (remembering that there will be 2 groups meeting at different times)
  6. Give people a chance to express interest in serving in different roles – primarily on “discovery teams” about different issues
  7. This is a tentative agenda and details could change.

    You may of course come to both meetings – but please come to one!

    How to prepare

    If you can:

    (1) read the current Pine Lake charter:

    (2)  Browse the GMA 2007 Model Charter, which has lots of background information about different forms of government, for example: http://www.gmanet.com/Publications.aspx?CNID=19951 I have not been able to read this using Google Chrome – try Firefox or Internet Explorer

    If you can’t, come anyway.  The important thing is to get involved.

    Thanks, and hope to see you there,

    Elisabeth Shields
    August 16, 2010

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One Response to “Next Events – August”

  1. William Cotter Says:

    I have some suggestions myself:

    Change the dates of the city’s budget year, so that it corresponds with the actual receipt of money in the form of tax revenues. Currently the budget is at best an exercise in creative fiction, because it precedes by nine months the due date for payment of property taxes.

    Abolish the Judicial branch of the city government. Operating a city court is the single most expensive item in the Pine Lake budget, and it is a money loser. It does not even bring in enough in fines to pay its own way, despite the widespread reputation of Pine Lake as a predatory speed trap.

    Abolish the position of Mayor. Allow the City Council to operate in the parliamentary mode, electing one of its own members as both Chairman of the council and Chief Executive of the city. The day-to-day administrative operation of city business can be conducted by the Chief Administrative Officer, appointed by the city council.


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