Revisions complete on Sulphur’s Home Rule Charter

Published 10:21 pm Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Sulphur’s Home Rule Charter is now revised. The proposed restated document, highlighted in red and yellow to make revisions stand out, is available on the City of Sulphur website for review. Voters who live within the city limits will get to say yea or nay to the proposed document in the upcoming election.

Six Sulphur Home Rule Charter Commission public meetings have been held since December 2022. Since that time, Commissioners have been going over wording and at times even punctuation, with a fine tooth comb.

Council member Mandy Thomas pointed out the last time the City had a true charter commission was in 1989 in the September 2022 City Council meeting.

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“This document was a very good document,” said Mike Danahay, echoing an opinion Commission Chair Danny DiPetta had shared with the media earlier. “Certainly it needed some updating.  I think the updates were needed because terminology, technology and state law have changed. I don’t think anything in it is controversial.”

Danahay said the proposed revised and restated document will be available to the public, on the City’s website, until the election. Council will take it up at their next meeting on April 10, and the election will be in October.

“The people will make the decision on this as they should,” he added.

Home Rule Charter Commissioners are Danny DiPetta, Carla Sigler, Sid Rosteet, Justin Sittig, Gena Granger and Donna Emmons.

 City Council members chose representatives from their  districts. Mayor Danahay named two appointees.

Danahay said Commissioners did a “yeoman’s work” and represented “a great cross section of the City.”

A brief discussion of term limits was introduced by Justin Sittig. Carla Sigler said,“I think anybody who’s ever held a position with the government can tell you there’s institutional knowledge and sometimes it takes more than one term to get you really up to speed on that. And then there’s also a time at which maybe it’s not feasible for somebody to continue to stay in office and I think that that’s difficult to put into a number.”

DiPetta noted the Charter governs only the City of Sulphur, and using the power of the vote is one way to determine who does, and does not remain in office.