Rockwood wants voters to live there

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By Cindy Simpson

A proposal to allow Rockwood property owners who live outside the city limits to have a say come Election Day will not be going to the state assembly.

Rockwood City Council approved a number of charter change resolutions to send to state Sen. Ken Yager and state Reps. Kent Calfee and Ron Travis this month to address a number of alterations to the city’s municipal code.

Councilwoman Peggy Evans, who proposed the legislation to allow nonresidents who own city property to vote in Rockwood, was supported only by Councilman Mike Freeman.

Another proposal would change the percentage of registered voters required on a petition for recalling an elected city official, lowering it from 25 to 15 percent.

“... Elections for the removal by recall of officers shall be held not less than 90 days from the receipt by the Commissioners of Elections of a petition signed by at least 15 percent of the registered voters of the City demanding recall,” the resolution said.

In 2011 a recall attempt was made to oust Mayor James Watts and Councilwoman Jane Long.

Another resolution eliminates the use of elected officials passing or refusing to vote “yay” or “nay” on an issue.

The resolution said four members present, including the mayor, could constitute a quorum, and an affirmative vote of the majority would be required to pass an ordinance, resolution or motion “even if an equal or greater number of the quorum present refuses to vote or fails to vote. An abstention shall be considered a non-vote, neither for nor against the matter at issue,” according to the resolution.

The resolution also gives the mayor a vote but no veto power.

Other charter changes proposed changed the date the mayor and council members take office to noon, Dec. 1, unless the date falls on Sunday, and in that case they’d take office on Dec. 2.

Previously, the council voted to move their election date to coincide with the state elections in hopes to increase voter turnout and save money.

However, the charter did not recognize the change.

Another charter change changes the Election Day itself. Still another charter change establishes the position of vice mayor as a two-year position.

The resolution states after election the council will select the vice mayor from the council members remaining on council from the city election two years previous.