City Planning and Zoning Administrator Justin Kirouac served as the commission’s spokesperson and presented the results to the city council June 18 before it was to be moved to the state legislature.
“The charter commission wished for me to express that they were providing a framework for the best form of government and to really look to the future, not looking at existing personalities, potential personalities, but looking at positions and a framework and structure that’s viable financially and responsibly for the citizens of Johns Creek,” Kirouac said.
One of the major proposed changes to the charter is the ability to change property taxes. Currently, the Johns Creek charter says that a change in the millage rate can be approved by “a majority of the eligible voters in the City by referendum,” but the changes would alter that wording to be “a majority of voters voting on the millage rate referendum.”
At a public hearing June 4, Johns Creek citizen Mark Endres said he was not in favor of the change because the low millage rate was one of the draws to incorporating the city in the first place.
“It was written this way deliberately with the understanding the city should be able to provide all services at the existing millage rate,” he said. “The city was sold on the premise of being a pay-as-you-go city with no need to borrow money or issue bonds.”
Another change to the charter is that the city will be divided into three council geographic districts with each district having a “Post A” councilman and a “Post B” councilman, totally six councilmen and a mayor. City council will still be voted on citywide.
The city council is defined as a Board of Directors for the city in the new charter, with the mayor acting as Chairman and the city manager acting as chief executive officer. There will also be a chief financial officer for the city.
The commission suggested in their proposal that another charter commission be created prior to April 30, 2017 and is completed by Oct. 31, 2017.