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The West St. Paul Charter Commission met earlier this week to interview candidates for a vacant seat and consider potential changes.
The Charter Commission meets infrequently (but at least once per year) to discuss changes to the city’s charter. It determines how things work in the city, and changes to the charter require the unanimous approval of City Council. We previously talked with the former chair of the Charter Commission, Mark Tessmer, to learn more about the charter. We’ve also explored five interesting things in the city charter.
Eleven candidates applied for an open seat on the Charter Commission, and the Commission interviewed nine people for the vacant seat (two candidates withdrew).
The candidates were:
- Jay DeLaRosby
- Chris Gevara
- James Heaney
- Kimetha “KaeJae” Johnson
- Carol Keyes-Ferrer
- Constance LaCombe
- Andrew Olson
- Ann Osendorf
- Sally Spreeman
The Charter Commission voted on the candidates after interviews and discussion, with Johnson (a former mayoral candidate) receiving four votes, and Keyes-Ferrer and Osendorf receiving three votes each. The Commission ultimately decided to appoint Johnson.
The Commission also looked at conflict of interest language for the City Council’s code of ethics, but ultimately decided not to take action. The City Council opted not to adopt a code of ethics at their organizational meeting, waiting for input from the Charter Commission. The City Council will now have to make changes on their own or adopt the existing language.
Other topics for future consideration include the police chief reporting solely to the city manager, giving the mayor more voting power (a chance considered and rejected multiple times in previous years), and adding more members to the Charter Commission.
The Charter Commission is going to act quickly to consider these items, with the next meeting set for January 26.
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