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A city charter is like a constitution that outlines the principles, structures and process of government. It is a legal document that defines an organization, as well as its powers, functions and essential procedures. Like constitutions at federal and state governments, the City of Beaverton has a charter that describes the roles and powers of the Mayor, City Council and city officers, as well as the basic framework for how the city conducts business.
Beaverton’s existing charter was approved by voters in November 1980. It was amended once in 2008 when voters changed a section relating to urban renewal.
It gets changed by Beaverton voters. The City Council can initiate discussions and pass a resolution to refer a proposed charter to Beaverton voters for consideration, but Beaverton voters must approve the changes at an election.
Yes, the Beaverton City Council referred the proposed city charter to Beaverton voters for the May 19, 2020, primary election.
If approved, the proposed charter would become operative on January 1, 2021.
Nothing. The city would continue to operate as it does under the existing charter, none of the charter changes described would occur, and there would be no fiscal impact.
The financial impact under the proposed charter would be approximately $42,000, if the measure passes, because it would replace or modify existing positions included in the city’s current charter. For example, the cost of adding a new city Councilor position would be available from a redistribution of the Mayor’s existing salary to a new councilor position. The cost would paid by the City’s general fund through an existing revenue stream.
Cities periodically review their charters to update the charter in various ways. The Beaverton City Council began a series of discussions in fall 2019 regarding potential changes to the city’s existing charter. Discussions and public hearings on the topic occurred during public meetings.
If the measure passes, the proposed city charter would outline details related to the city’s form of government, term limits and language preferences. These would include:
Most Oregon cities are one of four basic forms of government. These include:
Yes, the City Council discussed the proposed Charter during public meetings. Between September 2019 and February 2020, there were nine work sessions, as well as two public hearings on this topic.
The City of Beaverton will provide information on the proposed charter to the community. A dedicated web page at www.BeavertonOregon.gov/Charter will be a source of information and will list upcoming activities.