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New Baltimore Voters Turn Down Charter Commission Proposal

Nearly 56% of voters rejected the move to elect a charter commission to explore an overall revision.

A majority of New Baltimore voters turned down a charter commission proposal that could have eventually led to government reform.

According to unofficial Tuesday night election results, 55.8 percent--or 956 voters--rejected the . The issue was supported by 758 voters. One-hundred percent of the precincts were reporting the figures.

Mayor Larry Smith said he was pleased after results trickled in.

"I think they pushed for a charter revision strictly because they wanted me out of office," Smith said of .

, several elected members could have eventually opted to change the charter. Among the major issues: The charter commission could have sought a city manager as opposed to a mayor strong form of government. That matter would have required state authorization and a final approval from voters.

Smith said he believes the residents' decision Tuesday night is a vote of confidence he's doing a solid job as the city's top-elected official.

He also plans to move forward to updated language in the 1970s charter through amendments rather than an overall revision.

Earlier Tuesday, the ballot proposal drew voters on both sides of the issue.

New Baltimore resident and former councilman John Dupray said, "I think that to revise the charter is a good idea and I think that a commission to look into revising the charter should be passed."

Longtime New Baltimore homeowner Dorothy Bade said, "We're not for the revision of the charter at this time because I think they're opening a door where they really don't know where it's going to lead."

petey August 08, 2012 at 04:20 AM
small steps in amending the Charter,will get us where we need to be! A revision of the Charter is uncalled for at this time.
Dorothy Bade August 08, 2012 at 11:24 AM
I agree. There are sections that need to be revised. Amending those sections is important. Re-writing the entire charter was not necessary. According to the expert who spoke at the City Council Meeting - our charter is 'better & more current' than most. Not perfect of course, but doable.

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