COUNCIL SEEKS TO AMEND CHARTER WITHOUT STUDY, BEFORE END OF CURRENT TERM

 

For immediate release
Contact: John Mannillo, 651-292-8306
The Charter Commission meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., today, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 4:30 p.m. at 220 City Hall, 15 West Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul.

[Saint Paul, MN|November 10 | 2 p.m.]

It has just come to the attention of Saint Paul STRONG that Saint Paul Charter Commission, at today’s 4:30 meeting, has been asked to suspend its rules to approve an amendment to the Saint Paul Charter, so that the current Saint Paul City Council can pass it unanimously[1] before the newly elected Saint Paul City Council is seated.

The amendment would lift the city’s cap on liquor licenses for restaurant establishments. While city staff state that they have met with district council leaders and the city’s business review council regarding the proposed change, there has been no public hearing or published opportunity for broad public input.

“Saint Paul STRONG is concerned because five members of the current city councilmembers, who were re-elected last week, each endorsed the principles of transparency and public accountability of Saint Paul STRONG,” said John Mannillo, a member of Saint Paul STRONG’s executive committee. “Changing the number and procedures for issuing liquor licenses is an important quality of life issue. Thoughtful study and the public are being eliminated from the process.”

“Saint Paul’s charter is the city’s Constitution,” said Mannillo, “Any changes, no matter how potentially popular, need to be carefully vetted by our city’s Charter Commission and the public.

“Why now? Why the rush? Is this being done for one or two businesses? Could it be handled through an ordinance change and NOT a charter change?” Mannillo asked. “This is why the Charter Commission should have the opportunity to study it and make a recommendation.”

The Charter Commission meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., today, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 4:30 p.m. at 220 City Hall, 15 West Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul.

[1] Typically, the Saint Paul Charter Commission is asked to study any proposed charter changes and make a recommendation to the city council and/or the voters. In this case, Mayor Chris Coleman and the City Council are relying on a charter provision that allows the council to change the charter by unanimous vote.