Although the amendments will not be on the ballot until at least 2023, the charter was reviewed by a nine-member committee, which is required at least every two years.
One of the major changes proposed by the commission includes giving the mayor the ability to vote on every agenda item, versus just voting to break a tie, as is currently the case.
“It just made sense for the mayor to vote when there wasn’t really a real reason that we didn’t have the mayor vote when we started the charter,” said Council Member Holly Gray-Moore, who chaired the review commission. “As we’re growing and Roanoke is kind of changing, it just seemed like it made sense ... they’re putting all the same time in.”
The commission also recommended that vacancies that have less than 12 months remaining in a term can be filled by appointment until the regularly scheduled election for that seat. Gray-Moore said this change will allow the charter to reflect the updated state law on this issue. Currently, if there are three months or more left in the seat's term, it must be filled by a special election.
City Council will recall these amendments when they call their next election to minimize costs and save taxpayers money. On average, calling a special election held in May costs around $9,000-$10,000—a price that doubles when held in November.