During his State of the City address Thursday morning, Mayor Michael O’Connor announced an extensive review of the City’s charter will begin in the coming weeks.
The charter review will aim to accomplish three objectives:
- Educating and engaging a robust discussion about the current charter.
- Reviewing language and processes of the current charter to determine revisions and amendments in The City of Frederick’s best interest.
- Ensuring City government is representative, effective, transparent, responsive, and accountable.
The charter is the City’s governing document for policies and procedures for how government operates and represents the public it serves.
A charter review is an in-depth process with significant public input and participation being critical.
“My administration, like every administration, has its own unique opportunity, and responsibility, to set the course for the future of the City of Frederick” said Mayor O’Connor in his address. “But to be a City fully committed to the community and dedicated to progress, we have to ensure the structure, policies, and procedures by which we govern, are efficient and up to date. It is a priority of mine to update the City’s charter to provide the most equitable and representative government processes for our community.”
Solicitation for members of a 7-9 person charter review committee will begin next week, with appointments to be made in mid-to-late October and the first meeting of the committee to begin in November. The process for the committee is expected to take 6-8 months with recommendations then going before the Board of Aldermen.
In his address, themed Committed Community, Dedicated to Progress, Mayor O’Connor also announced two more community-centric events in the coming months – one of them called What If, Frederick? With the development of CommUNITY 2030, the need for ongoing community involvement is essential to its success. COVID impacted that for the last two years but now we are ready to ensure we remain nimble enough to adapt our goals to ever-evolving community’s needs. What If, Frederick will give our residents the opportunity to join the story of shaping our bright future by bringing your ideas to a public open house with government leaders encouraging collaboration on future projects and policies and help build the vision for a prosperous Frederick. More information on a date and location for this event will be available in coming days.
Also, the City, in partnership with Frederick Bocce will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Bocce Ball courts in Baker Park on September 29. More details will be available soon.
Additionally, in his State of the City address, Mayor O’Connor highlighted actions the City has taken and is continuing to take to make the City of Frederick a more economically strong, socially progressive and environmentally aware place to live, work and raise a family. After two years of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Frederick is able to fully, confidently recommit to the vision put forth in CommUNITY 2030, the City’s first multi-year strategic plan.
Mayor O’Connor highlighted numerous investments in infrastructure and its workforce to increase service delivery for residents. For instance, the City has upgraded numerous parks and recreation facilities, including its first Pickleball-plex, a Bocce Ball court in Baker Park and continued progress and upgrades at Westside Regional Park.
The City continues to improve its flood mitigation infrastructure thanks to funding provided under the American Rescue Plan Act, congressionally directed spending through our federal delegation, and our own capital improvements program. The City is making these storm water infrastructure upgrades based on recommendations provided by the Army Corps of Engineers. At 95 percent design the City expects to see construction on the first of these efforts, the Motter Avenue drainage area, this coming spring.
Mayor O’Connor reiterated his excitement to bring a new FPD headquarters and downtown hotel and conference center to fruition as a means to keep Frederick a safe and vibrant city.
Mayor O’Connor’s continued commitment to ensuring equity across government operations has resulted in updated purchasing policies to ensure more diverse representation in the City’s contracting processes. In the coming weeks, the City will announce a new Business Outreach Coordinator, who will be dedicated to working in the community with Minority and Women Owned Businesses to increase their participation in our contracting processes.
Visit here to read the full State of the City Address.