Nothing seems to be broken with Brighton's charter, City Councilors agreed May 2, so there's likely no need to change it.
“I still say this is a solution in search of a problem,” Councilor Tom Green.
Councilors first heard a report from City Attorney Alicia Calderon in April that outlined a process to update the charter. Councilors would create a citizens committee - one resident from each ward and a former member of the most recent charter commission.
Brighton's current charter was updated and adopted by voters in 2000.
That committee would review the city's current charter and report back in 2024 with a list of suggested changes. Councilors could review those suggestions and decide to send them to voters if they approved.
But councilors passed on the idea in April, tabling it until the May 2 meeting. They still hadn't warmed up to the idea.
Councilor Clint Blackhurst suggested simply hiring a consultant to review the charter.
“I've thought about the process, the way we did our first charter, and there was a lot of infighting,” Blackhurst said. “That charter was turned down by the citizens. It took a second committee to rehab that and actually pass. It turned out to be a two- to three-year process. I'm going to suggest something different than a citizen's committee. I'm going to suggest we hire a consultant who is an expert in the area of city charters and have them go through our charter and make recommendations to the city council.”
Councilor Matt Johnston said the idea had merit.
“That is a better way to utilize our time and change the charter,” Johnston said. “One thing I'd amend. I always wish we could have the authors come back and say 'Here's what we meant with this constitution thing, because you are doing it way wrong. Here's what we really meant.'“
But Green said he's not sure the charter needs fixing, but said a consultant makes more sense than a citizen committee.
“I would much rather have a consultant look this thing over and make some suggestions, rather than just let a charter review committee free and let them pick whatever they pick,” Green said.
Councilor Peter Padilla said he agreed with Green that the charter is fine.
“I absolutely believe this is a solution in search of a problem, too,” Padilla said. “I don't' think we have a problem and I'm not in favor of spending any money on a consultant, either. I'd much rather hear from a few of the people on staff if we have things that are problematic or in conflict between the charter and our municipal code. If hiring a consultant would help realize that, I guess I don't have a major objection.”
Councilors took no action after their discussion, letting the issue drop, and Calderon said the City Manager can hire a consultant.