Council to Begin Work Updating City Charter

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The Hermiston City Council agreed Monday night that the current city charter, which is nearly 60 years old, is long overdue for an update.

The council agreed to begin working with the law firm of Beery, Elsner, & Hammond to clean up the city government’s foundational document.

The city council will begin meeting in the coming months to hear recommendations from each other, city staff, legal counsel, and community members about changes to the charter. Any final changes to the charter will have to be approved by the voters of the city.

Chad Jacobs, an attorney for Beery, Elsner, and Hammond, presented an overview of “City Charters 101” to the council Monday. His firm helped the League of Oregon Cities draft the LOC’s Model Charter to help cities maintain a modern charter. One of the main reasons for updating city charters is so that they can keep pace with federal and state law.

The city of Hermiston’s charter can be found on the city’s website under the “Code of Ordinances” section. A copy of Jacobs’ preliminary recommendations can be found under the “News” section.