City Charter Changes

Thursday, February 21, 2013 - by Richard Beeland

 When you go to the polls and cast your vote for mayor and City Council on March 5, you will also have an opportunity to make some needed changes to the city charter.  A city charter is a guiding document and establishes the governing structure for the city, somewhat like a Constitution for the city.  

Chattanooga’s charter is a combination of Private Acts of the Tennessee General Assembly beginning in 1869 and also includes amendments that were adopted through the years.  In 1972, Chattanooga voters adopted home rule and since then, all charter changes have been approved by referendum.  The proposed changes that are presented in the March 5 charter referendum will help clear up and clarify the city charter.

Much of Chattanooga’s charter is more than 50 years old and some as much as 143 years old and no longer useful.  This referendum proposes to eliminate the unnecessary sections and make minor changes to the remainder.

“The proposed changes are available for review on the city website,” said Chattanooga City Attorney Michael A. McMahan.  “An explanation of the proposed changes is also available and I will be glad to answer any questions concerning the charter changes.” 

Review changes here:

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