Lander City Council to discuss potential charter ordinance during upcoming work session; would be city’s first, staff says

    The Lander City Council is considering developing the city’s first charter ordinance after hearing a presentation on forms of local government this week.

    The presentation outlined two different forms of governance – mayor-council and council-manager – neither of which fully describes the way Lander operates, Councilmember Missy White pointed out during the Tuesday work session.

    h/t City of Lander
    h/t City of Lander

    “We operate a hybrid system,” public works director Lance Hopkin agreed.


    White’s realization that Lander has a “unique form a government” prompted her to wonder whether the city should try to more clearly define the way it operates.

    “Do we need to create a charter?” she asked. “It seems like it would be good, for both our benefit and our constituents, (to) clarify and specify what our form of government is.”

    Once Lander’s operating structure is “captured” in “black and white,” she added, the council will be better equipped to think about whether “that’s the most appropriate government or form of governance” for the city.

    “It’s hard to travel if you don’t know where you’re starting from,” she said. “So I think that would be helpful, to at least get that written down.”


    Councilmember Melinda Cox echoed White’s comments.

    “If we started with a charter, that would give us direction, or at least an idea of where to go,” Cox said. “How do we operate currently? Let’s figure that out. … We should be able to clearly identify that.”

    Hopkin said staff “would be happy to start the process of working on a charter ordinance” for the council to discuss during a work session next month.


    Assistant mayor RaJean Strube Fossen noted that staff has “not found a charter ordinance” already in place for the city, so any charter ordinance the council considers adopting would be Lander’s “first charter ordinance” and, therefore, “does not have to go to a vote of the people” for approval.

    For more information, call the City of Lander at 332-2870.


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