Tucker has enjoyed a lot of “firsts” since becoming an incorporated city. Last summer, we put on our first fireworks show. Last fall, we repaved our first roads. And this spring, we are embarking on another first. While not as visible, it is every bit as important as those other milestones; maybe even more so.
According to our City Charter, before the third anniversary of our incorporation as a City, I am required to call for a Charter Commission. I did so at a City Council meeting earlier in February. And what is a Charter Commission? It’s a group of people who live in Tucker who will “review the City’s experience and recommend to the General Assembly any changes to the Charter.”
Our Charter is actually a piece of state legislation that was voted into law and then approved via public referendum in November of 2015. Our state representatives and senators will each appoint one Tucker resident to the Charter Commission. I will appoint a member, as will our City Council as a whole. This select group of citizens will have a big responsibility: looking at how our Charter (our rules for operating) is working for us, and what needs to change for our City government to thrive as we move into the future. Once they have come up with their recommendations, our council and our local delegation to the General Assembly will discuss the proposals. Some of them we can implement ourselves, while some may require action by the state legislature.
This is a process that most cities and counties go through from time to time. In fact, just a couple weeks ago CEO Mike Thurmond issued an executive order to form a Charter Commission for DeKalb County. It’s a way to get an outside perspective from engaged citizens about how to improve a government’s operations.
This process is a welcome opportunity to pause and evaluate our organization and operations, and to consider how we can improve upon our early experience as a city. I welcome this important input and look forward to implementing these changes as we move forward into Year Four of cityhood. And let me say thanks in advance to those who will take on this important responsibility!