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Text of Document: Surrender of Aldermanic Charter and Adoption of Manager-Commission Charter
By Ron Darden, Municipal Management Consultant
The University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service
This paper will discuss the surrender of a board of mayor and alderman charter and the adoption of a manager-commission charter under provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated.
In order for a surrender election to be held, a petition requesting surrender of the charter must be filed in the same manner and contain signatures of the same number of registered voters as provided for the adoption of the present charter. The petition must pray for a surrender of the charter and must be accompanied by a cash bond to be posted by the petitioners to cover the cost of the election. TCA 6-1-301.
In the same manner means upon the petition of 33 1/3 % of the registered voters of the municipality. TCA 6-1-202.
If the petition is sufficient to call for an election on the issue of surrender the present charter and adoption of the manager-commission charter, the county election commission shall hold an election, providing options to vote “FOR” or “AGAINST” the surrender and the adoption of the new charter, not less than 45 days nor more than 60 days after the petition is certified. TCA 6-1-202.
If a majority of the voters vote in favor of surrender and adoption of the new charter, the present charter shall terminate at one (1) minute after midnight (12:01 a.m.) on the sixtieth day following the date of election, unless this falls on a Sunday or holiday, in which case it shall terminate at one (1) minute after midnight (12:01 a.m.) on the next day. If, before the adoption of this charter, the municipality functioned under a different charter, thereupon the prior charter shall become effective at the time above mentioned. Territory previously unincorporated shall revert to that status. Another charter, however, may be adopted, and the question of whether or not another charter shall be adopted may be placed on the ballots used in the election herein mentioned, if the petition filed requests that, and if other necessary legal steps to adopt the other charter have been taken. TCA 6-1-303.
If a new charter is adopted, the county election commission shall call an election not less than forty (40) days nor more than fifty (50) days following the election for surrender of the charter provided herein, at which time municipal officials for the newly adopted form of government shall be chosen who shall take office upon the date fixed for the termination of the previous charter. The qualifying deadline for filing nominating petitions shall be twelve O’clock noon (12:00) of the sixth Thursday before the election.
All assets, liabilities and obligations of the old municipality shall become those of the new municipality. TCA 6-1-305.
All ordinances, laws, resolutions, and bylaws duly enacted and in force under the preexisting charter and not inconsistent with the provisions of the Manager-Commission Charter shall remain in full force until repealed, modified, or amended as herein provided.
There shall be elected three (3) commissioners; the two (2) receiving the highest number of votes shall hold office for four (4) years, and the third for three (3) years. The terms shall be for four (4) years thereafter. The city shall have the option to increase the number of commissioners to five (5) by ordinance.
The city may, by ordinance, choose to elect the members of the board of commissioners by district. If the board chooses to elect commissioners by district, the board shall by ordinance create contiguous single-member districts equal to the number of commissioners. The districts shall be equally apportioned according to population.
The commission, at the first regular meeting after each biennial election, shall elect one (1) of their number mayor for a two (2) year term. Rather than being elected by the board of commissioners, the mayor may be elected by popular vote if this method of electing the mayor is approved in a referendum in the city.
Sample PetitionPETITION FOR ELECTION TO SURRENDER THE PRESENT CHARTER OF THE CITY OF ___________, TENNESSEE AND ADOPTION OF THE MANAGER-COMMISSION CHARTER
To: The County Election Commission, _________County, Tennessee.
We the undersigned, being registered voters and residents of the City of __________ , herein proposing to surrender the present charter and adopt the manager-commission charter under provisions of Tennessee Law, and being in number in excess of thirty-three and one-third percent (33 1/3%) of the registered voters of the herein described city, hereby request the county election commission to hold an election on the question of whether or not to surrender the city’s present mayor-aldermanic charter and adopt the manager-commission charter under provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 6, chapters 1-20, and be known by the name and style of the City of __________, Tennessee, all as prescribed in Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 6, chapters 1-20.
_______________________ ________________________________ _________
Name Residence Address Date
(List name and residence as on registration records)
I, ________________________, hereby certify that I personally solicited the signatures of the persons appearing on this page and that they, in fact, signed their names to this petition in my presence.
State of Tennessee
County of _______
On this______day of _________, 200_, before me personally appeared __________________, to me known to be the person described in, and who executed, the foregoing instrument, and acknowledged that such person executed it as such person’s free act and deed.
Signature and Seal of Notary Public __________________
My Commission expires:_____________