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Saturday, 27 February 2021

Rochester City Council wrap

Credit: KIMT
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Rochester City Council wrap
Rochester City Council wrap

A proposal to strip the library and park board's decision making abilities is now dead in the water.

Council also postponed a decision on implementing a new fee for historic landmark applications.

"* i'm katie lange.

And i'm george mallet.

First tonight ?

"* a rochester power struggle.

A proposal to strip the library and park board's decision making abilities is now dead in the water.

Changes to rochester's city charter... which experts liken to a constitution... were on the table for city council members today.

Kimt news three's anthony monzon has all that and more.

Anthony?

Well katie and george... those proposed amendments to the city charter would have revoked the authority of the park and library boards to manage budgets... and hire and fire directors.

But tonight those changes were soundly rejected... with the council voting 6?

"*to?

"*1 against adjusting the document.

Council member shaun palmer was the only city leader to vote in favor of the changes.

The council's decision came after a public hearing in which presidents of both boards and community members expressed opposition to amendments.

Council member patrick keane says he understands some of the concerns raised by those in favor of the changes... but doesn't see any problems the "i do not see any concrete or real world problems that these changes would rectify.

And i worry, that at the practical level, the impact of these changes would be a blurry signal to the community that rochester is not interested in the highest level of community engagement."

Now tonight's decision does not necessarily close the door on charter changes... including those proposed to the park and library boards.

Council member mark bransford says he believes voters should make the final decision on the matter... and urges the charter commission to propose a public referrendum.

Mayor kim norton also says the city is reviewing charter language with several boards tonight council also moved to create a plan to develop more accessible biking and pedestrian infrastructre in rochester.

The active transportatio n master plan will build on a master bike plan completed in 2012.

The council also directed staff to look into increasing its focus on pedestrians.

Council member nick campion says he hopes the results of the plan aren't too "if this is diluted to the point that we do not get actionable intelligence on what we are doing with bikes, or actionable intelligence on what we're going to do with pedestrians, you can expect a very quite upset council member in my particular chair, because that is the risk of what we're trying to accomplish here."

Staff say recommendatio ns from the plan will be made available this fall... before city and the council also postponed a decision on whether to implement a new fee for historic landmark applications.

The fee would range from 100?

"*to?

"*300 dollars... in addition to a fifteen?

"* hundred?

"* dollar refundable deposit.

Staff say implementing a fee would help pay for the research each application requires.

A majority of council members said they'd like more input before making a decision.

Council member mark bransford is concerned a fee could prevent the "i believe this fee creates an environment where the attempt at preserving our city's history becomes the perview of the rich, even if the lion's share of the fee is refundable."

The fee proposal will now be sent to the historic preservation commission for review... before being sent back to thank you anthony.

The rochester city council will meet again for

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