Blue Springs, Mo. – The inaugural Blue Springs Charter Review Commission meeting will be Tuesday, April 23 at 6 p.m. in the East Conference Room of City Hall, 903 W. Main Street. The Commission is comprised of nine community leaders from diverse backgrounds; none of whom can be elected officials of the City and no more than 40 percent of the Commission members can reside in any one election district.
The Charter Commission was appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council at the April 1st Council meeting to study, appraise and evaluate the City of Blue Springs’ Home Rule City Charter. The City’s Home Rule City Charter was established by Blue Springs voters on April 5, 1994 and it mandates that a Commission be established to review and recommend changes to the Charter from time to time, but no less than every five years.
Bryan Pratt has been selected as the chairman of the commission. Mr. Pratt was a member of the Missouri House of Representatives from 2002-10 and elected Speaker Pro Tem in September 2007 and served as the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He currently practices law with Shook, Hardy and Bacon in Kansas City, Mo. The Charter Review Commission includes: Jim May, Mary Potter, Dena McLean from District 1; Emil Spears, Chuck Zuvers and Garry Cobb from District 2; and Beverly O’Connor, Jack Cook and Bryan Pratt from District 3.
“This commission has the unique ability to shape Blue Springs’ government at the most fundamental level,” said Mayor Carson Ross. “Input from citizens is invaluable as the Commission’s nine members move forward in selecting issues to be fully vetted by the broader Blue Springs community.”
The City of Blue Springs' Home Rule Charter, much like the U.S. Constitution, contains the rules which describe how the City functions, organizes itself, and makes the decisions that affect resident’s daily lives. The Charter sets parameters for what laws and rules may be adopted by City Council, what kind of services the public receives, and how tax dollars are collected and spent.
All Charter Review Commission meetings are open to the public and agendas, minutes and current version of the Home Rule Charter are available at www.bluespringsgov.com/charterreview. Residents are encouraged to share their input and suggestions to the Commission by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Charter Review Commission will be meeting over the next several months including a public hearing and a report including their recommended Charter changes is expected to be presented to the Mayor and City Council. Charter changes recommended by the Commission and accepted by the City Council would need to be put to a vote by Blue Springs residents at a future election.
Charter Commission Member Biographies:
• Jim May has served as a Blue Springs City Councilman, Blue Springs Planning Commissioner and currently serves as a board member of the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation.
• Mary Potter has served as a Blue Springs City Councilman, member of the Renew The Blue Taskforce and currently serves as the Blue Springs Historical Preservation Chairman and is part of the Blue Springs Downtown Alive! group.
• Dena McLean has served on the Renew the Blue Taskforce and currently serves as the Blue Springs Park Commission Chairman and the Let’s Move! Blue Springs Steering Committee.
• Emil Spears has served as a Blue Springs Alderman and currently serves as a member of the Blue Springs Public Safety Citizens Advisory Board and a member of the Volunteers in Police Services program.
• Chuck Zuvers is the owner of Zuver’s Real Estate Services and currently serves as a member of the Blue Springs Public Safety Citizens Advisory Board, a member of the Volunteers in Police Services program and a member of the Blue Springs Downtown Alive! group.
• Garry Cobb is the owner of Lunar Bowl and has served as a Blue Springs Planning Commissioner, a member of the Blue Springs Public Safety Citizens Advisory Board and is a member of the Buy Blue Springs Committee.
• Beverly O’Connor is a resident of Blue Springs and works for KC Title in Lee’s Summit.
• Jack Cook is a retired hospital administrator; graduate of the Blue Springs Citizen’s Academy and assisted with the Blue Springs Public Safety Sales Tax Initiative.
Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BlueSpringsGov or become "fans" of the City's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bluespringsgov. Links to both sites can be found by visiting the City’s Web site at www.bluespringsgov.com.