Charter Revision Committee

About the Committee
In October 2012, the Charter Revision Committee received its charge, “to analyze the contents of the city’s charter regarding anachronisms and items to be deleted, amended, or added.” The 6 committee members have reviewed the 14 subchapters of the charter in detail, gathering input from lawyers and professionals who have knowledge and experience related to municipal charters, city staff, and other reliable sources. We have researched state statutes and other municipal charters in our effort to propose revisions to the Montpelier Charter so that the City of Montpelier has the authority and responsibility to conduct business in a manner that best serves the long term interests of all residents.

Revision Process
We submit our work product to the council. Our proposed revisions are clarifications and updates of the charter text. The committee recommends reorganizing some sections for clarification, and when text moves from 1 section to another, it is underlined and appears like new text, even though it has been in another part of the charter. There are many recommendations for deleting obsolete and unnecessary charter text. Numerous deletions are replaced with new language that is consistent with current policy and procedures of city government, or with a reference to the general laws of the state that define that charter provision.

The committee has been cautious about recommending significant changes to the charter, except when it is appropriate to recommend adding language describing a current procedure to replace language that is archaic, incomprehensible, or contradictory. When particular standards or procedures are appropriate for the Montpelier city government and distinct from general law, the committee recommends new language to include them in the charter. Similarly, references to general laws of the state are included in our recommendations when they are the best definition of how city government should operate.