Charter Review Committee

The Charter is the guiding document that grants and spells out the powers of the Mayor, the City Council, the City Manager, the School Committee, and other boards, committees, departments and department heads. The Charter includes a provision that it must be reviewed for possible amendments at least every ten years, with the most recent review in 2022. The proposed changes to the charter will be brought before residents in the November Election. See the ballot questions below:

Question 2:
Shall the Sanford City Charter Section 402.3 be amended to include the position of Assessor be added to the City Manager’s power of appointments subject to the City Council Confirmation?
Appoint, prescribe the duties of, and when necessary for the good of the City, remove any non-school officials and employees of the City, except as otherwise provided herein, and except as the City Manager may authorize the head of a department or office to appoint and remove subordinates in such department or office and except as otherwise provided by law, by this Charter, or by personnel rules adopted pursuant to this Charter.
Only the City Manager's appointment of the following shall be subject to confirmation by the City Council: Police Chief, Fire Chief, City Clerk, Tax Collector, Assessor, Planning Director, Codes Enforcement Officer, Public Works Director, City Treasurer and the Director of the Sanford Emergency Management Agency.

Question 3: Shall the Sanford City Charter Article VI Budget be amended as summarized below?
Summary of Amendments:
  • Insert the City Council for the review of the Municipal and School Budgets in lieu of the Budget Committee
  • Maintain the Budget Review Schedule, Format of Budget Presentation, and Public Hearing Process for annual budget review and vote by City Council
  • Maintain submission of School and Municipal Budget Message and Submission
  • Maintain the 4% Capital Program as a minimum, ½ of Capital Program dedicated to non-rolling stock transportation infrastructure, but allow the Council to determine a lesser amount is sufficient in the future
  • Amend the School Budget adoption to reference current State Law 20-A § 2307, 1485, 1487 for the validation and adoption subject to voter approval each year
  • Amend 619.2 Emergency Appropriations that may be determined by the City Council from $250,000 to $1,000,000 subject to an emergency declaration

Question 4:
Shall the Sanford City Charter Section 619.2 Emergency Appropriations be amended as reprinted below?
To meet a public emergency affecting the health, safety, or welfare of the City, the City Council may make emergency appropriations. Any such emergency appropriation shall be so declared in an emergency preamble thereto, separately voted on and receiving the affirmative vote of at least six (6) members of the City Council. To the extent that there are no available, unappropriated revenues to meet such appropriations, the City Council may authorize borrowings not to exceed $250,000 $1,000,000, with maturities no longer than necessary taking into account the nature of the emergency and the size of the borrowing. If the City Council shall determine that the emergency warrants an appropriation of more than  $250,000 $1,000,000, it may submit the amount of the proposed appropriation in excess of  $250,000 $1,000,000 to the Voters for a single vote as provided in Article VII, provided that the result of the vote shall not affect the validity of any emergency appropriation less than  $250,000 $1,000,000. The issuance of an emergency appropriation pursuant to this subsection shall be exempt from the initiative and referendum provisions set forth in Article XIII of this Charter.

Question 5: Shall the Sanford City Charter Section 705 Bond Issues, be amended as reprinted below?
Section 705.1 Capital projects of the municipal and school departments to be financed through the issuance of bonds in an amount equal to or less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) one million dollars ($1,000,000) may be approved by the City Council.
Section 705.2 Capital projects of the municipal and school departments to be financed through the issuance of bonds in an amount over two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) one million dollars ($1,000,000), must be approved by the City Council and submitted to the qualified voters of the City for approval at the Budget Validation Referendum pursuant to Section 701 or at a regular or special election.

Question 6:
Shall the Sanford City Charter Section 903 Planning Board, be amended as reprinted below?
Section 903.3 A majority of the Planning Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a smaller number may adjourn from time to time. At least twenty-four (24) hours’ notice of the time and place of holding such adjourned meeting shall be given to all members who were not present at the meeting from which the adjournment was taken. Every act of the Planning Board that requires a vote shall require an affirmative vote of four members the majority of those present and voting.

Question 7:
Shall the Sanford City Charter Section 1413 Definitions be amended by adding the definitions listed below?
Proposed Additions, no deletions are recommended.
  • City Office – shall mean those positions that are recognized and established by the Charter that hold independent and standing authority pursuant to election or appointment by the City Council. City Office shall not include appointed committee positions advisory to City Office positions established by this Charter.
  • Department of Education – means the state approved school administrative unit of the City of Sanford with all powers conferred pursuant to 20-A M.R.S.A. et. al.
  • Municipal Officer – is an elected City Councilor
  • Municipal Officers – is collectively all elected City Councilors and comprises and serves as the Municipal Legislative Body of the City, 30-A M.R.S.A §2001, 2004. Chapter 123 Municipal Officials
  • Order – shall mean the action items that are the result of the vote of the City Council and thereby state the will of the municipal officers subsequent to full consideration in a public council meeting.
  • Ordinance – shall mean the act of voted ordinance authority and limitations as a local law of the City Council by the Charter and Ordinance Power pursuant to 30-A M.R.S.A §3001, as amended
  • Resolution – shall mean the voted decree of the City Council designation, recognition of a person, organization, event, call to action, or firm decision of order or not to order providing a directive.