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Citizen review on council agenda

Proposals to launch a citizens review process for the city charter and to establish an overall plan for sidewalks in the community will top the agenda when the City Council meets Tuesday.

The session will begin at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of Lawton City Hall, Southwest 9th Street and C Avenue.

Tuesday will mark the third time the council has looked at the issue of establishing a citizens group, composed of representatives from each of the city's eight council wards and the city as a whole, to review city government's guiding document and accept proposals and suggestions from citizens on changes.

Council members first looked at the issue in January, when Ward 5 Councilman Dwight Tanner submitted a proposal he offered  and which was rejected  in 2016: allowing the council to adopt city ordinances setting residency requirements for city employees. Tanner has said he wants to focus on management, allowing the council to require department heads and supervisors live in the community where they are making policy decisions that affect residents.

But other council members said the proposal should come under the review process the city has used in the past: allowing a citizens committee to formulate the proposed changes that then are forwarded to the council. While the council makes the decision on which proposals will be placed on an election ballot, the charter specifies that only voters may change the charter.

The process wasn't without controversy. At its Feb. 13 meeting, the council split 4-4 on the proposal to form the citizens committee, prompting Mayor Fred Fitch to break the tie in favor of appointing the committee.

The Lawton Constitution

102 SW 3rd, Lawton, OK
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