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City Charter legislation passes
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A revamp of the Smithville charter has passed the state House and Senate, and is now awaiting final approval by the mayor and board of aldermen.The re-write passed 87-0 in the House of Representatives and 29-0 in the Senate.The measure, which will modify the terms of the mayor and aldermen to bring them in line with the county general election and state primaries, was passed by the city council in February and sent to the legislature.If approved by city fathers on second reading, the terms of office for the mayor and aldermen will be extended from two to four years beginning with the June city election.Voting rights will also be extended to county residents who own commercial property in the city, will allow property rights voting for county residents who own at least 3,500 square feet of property in the city, and will allow by ordinance regular city council meetings to be held only once per month.The board now meets twice monthly.City elections would be held every two years.The city election this year will still be held on June 18.The aldermen elected for the three contested seats this year will serve a three-year term until August 2016.After that, aldermen will serve four-year terms.The mayor and two aldermen elected in August 2014 will serve for four-year terms.The measure must now return to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for a second reading, and must receive the votes of no less than two-thirds of the board before it can be implemented.