After 4 years of doing battle, the City Charter may finally get an overhaul. And I believe we have Former Mayor Doug Wilder to thank. (In fact, it may be his legacy from his time at City Hall) For better or worse, Wilder constantly pushed the boundaries of his authority. You could say, he helped the city discover the holes in the charter. The charter was never fully changed after city voters changed Richmond to a Council/Mayor form of government. Wilder tried to establish a stronger role, but may have ended up creating a stronger charter.
An independent review commission was formed in July of last year to patch the holes. The group is made up of 9 members, with 8 of them evenly appointed by the Mayor and the City Council. The 9th member is selected by the other members to be the leader. The commission has come up with 10 recommendations. Here’s a link to the proposal.
The most controversial centers on City Auditor Umesh Dalal. The group wants the mayor to appoint the City Auditor instead of City Council. Several City Council members tell me they oppose this idea. Some say it would place all the checks and balance with the executive “which is not a good idea.” These recommendations still have to be fleshed out. There will be a public forum this September. The General Assembly also has to vote on the changes. Not the most titillating blog post, but something I believe all Richmonders need to know about.