Baker was the first city to adopt a home-rule charter and a committee of eight or nine people was set up to draft it, Councilman Pete Heine said.
In April 1990 the charter was amended to allow for five single-member council districts.
Councilman Charles Vincent led the discussion and reviewed items he questioned. One involved the mayor’s lack of power to introduce any ordinance or resolution.
Another concerned the role of Planning and Zoning Commission and why it is necessary for P&Z to make recommendations on the capital budget. Commission members are appointed for nine-year terms and are required to take training.
Chief Mike “Snapper” Knaps explained the Police Advisory Committee which was established during Mayor Harold Rideau’s first term in office and said its role was to allow the public and police to share information on happenings around Baker.
Other subjects skimmed were the Department of Recreation, civil service, the mayor’s budget recommendations and the composition of various boards and commissions.
Council members choose the people they want on boards and commissions, their names are on the council agenda and the council votes on their holding office, Rideau explained.
When Councilwoman Joyce Burges asked about compensation for those serving on boards and commissions, Rideau said there is none; that volunteers who serve are giving back to the community to make it better.
Because revising the charter is such a big job, the council can expect more work sessions. Zachary recently revised its charter and may be helpful, Heine said.
The date for the next work session on the charter will be decided at the Aug. 14 council meeting.