MTAS Helps Townsend Ratify Amended City Charter

Following a two-year process of revising its city charter, with the help of UT Municipal Technical Advisory Service Municipal Management Consultant Margaret Norris, the Townsend Board of Commissioners recently voted to ratify the charter.

Commissioners voted in March to approve the rewritten charter, which was condensed from 31 pages to 16.

“The intent was to reorganize (the charter) and to clear up some of the antiquated language and redundancies,” Mayor Michael Talley said. “The only significant change was this makes it possible to hire a city manager in the future.”

The Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives have approved the rewritten charter, Talley said, but the charter still needed to be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Commissioners before it could be sent back to Nashville for the Tennessee secretary of state to certify it.

The Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to ratify the charter, with Vice Mayor Becky Headrick voting no.

“There are a lot of things that had been in there forever that I would have liked to have seen changed,” Headrick explained after the meeting, noting her biggest problem is with a provision that allows the Board of Commissioners to levy a property tax without a referendum. “There are a lot of things the public wouldn’t have a say in.”

Townsend was incorporated in 1941. This marks the first time the charter has been amended in its entirety.

Story originally appeared in The Maryville Daily Times

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