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2006 Seattle Elections
General Elections Voters' Guide
Chrtr Am 15-Change Comptroller to Clerk - Ballot Title
The city council has proposed amendments to Article IV Subsections 1D and 1J, and Article VIII Section 16 of the city charter concerning outdated references to the former office of the city comptroller.
These amendments would re-assign two functions from the city comptroller--an office that no longer exists--to the city clerk. Specifically, the amendments would (1) make the city clerk rather than the city comptroller responsible for taking charge of initiatives for their submittal to voters, and (2) require that referendum petitions be filed with the city clerk rather than with the city comptroller. The city council could further re-assign these functions by ordinance.
Should these charter amendments be
1. The proposal
These charter amendments would eliminate outdated references to the city comptroller, a position that no longer exists in the City.
2. The charter as it currently exists
In 1991 Seattle voters approved amendments to the city charter that among other things eliminated the elective offices of city comptroller and city treasurer. The 1991 amendments also consolidated the City’s financial-management functions in a Department of Finance, and allowed for the reassignment of various functions, responsibilities and procedures that had previously been assigned to the comptroller and treasurer.
In 1999 voters approved additional charter amendments that eliminated outdated references to the comptroller and treasurer. However, two charter references to the comptroller were overlooked during the 1999 amendments. These references concern responsibilities now performed by the city clerk.
3. The effect of these amendments if approved
Two parts of the city charter would be amended to re-assign functions from the city comptroller (a position that no longer exists) to the city clerk.
Article IV Subsection 1D of the charter would be changed to make the city clerk rather than the city comptroller responsible for taking charge of initiatives for submittal to the voters as directed by the city council. (The clerk, under the council’s direction, forwards initiatives to King County for placement on the ballot.)
Article IV Subsection 1J of the charter would also be changed to require that referendum petitions be filed with the city clerk rather than with the city comptroller, and to make the clerk rather than the comptroller responsible for verifying referendum petition signatures.
Finally, Article VIII Section 16 of the charter would be amended to allow the city council to further re-assign the above two functions by ordinance. Former comptroller functions that were re-assigned by the 1999 charter amendments already are permitted to be re-assigned by ordinance.