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Brooklyn Center group fails to get full-time mayor’s question in November ballot

A Brooklyn Center group seeking to change the city’s charter and do full-time mayoral work failed to get a question on the November ballot.

The group, Citizens for a Full-Time Mayor, had until Monday to file a new request after its initial petition was rejected because city officials said it violated state statutes.

The group said they consulted with the city clerk before collecting signatures to ensure the original petition complied with state laws and were ‘shocked’ when they were disqualified , campaign manager Stefanie Nelson said.

“We are disappointed that change in our community is facing so many obstacles. However, we are extremely hopeful that through better education of our residents, this change can still happen in our city,” Nelson said.

Citizens for a Full-Time Mayor said it will temporarily suspend efforts to amend the charter, but will continue to ensure the voices of Brooklyn Center voters are heard and will work to secure an amendment during a future ballot, Nelson said.

The citizens’ group had collected more than 1,100 signatures over the summer in a bid to have the amendment certified and put the wording on the November ballot. The amendment would have changed the position of mayor from part-time to full-time and would have included the duties and responsibilities currently held by the appointed city manager.

Mayor Mike Elliott, who is up for re-election this year and has a salary of about $13,000, said he supports the change. City manager Reggie Edwards is the city’s highest paid employee with a salary of $155,000, according to a city document posted online.

City Clerk Barb Suciu declared the petition invalid because the names of the five petitioners did not appear on the 145 pages of signatures submitted to the city. The petition also lacked a notarized affidavit on every page, and neither the full text of the proposed amendment nor a city-approved summary advising those who signed the petition how the city government would change were included. The petition only included a generic statement.

Suciu informed the group on August 4 that the petition did not comply with state law and that the group had 10 days to resubmit it. The deadline was Monday.

Brooklyn Center, which has a population of about 33,000, is considered a “self-governing charter city,” meaning citizens can adopt any form of government and change the charter.

“The mayor of Brooklyn Center must be more than just an image at events; they must be a stronger voice for the citizens who elect them,” Nelson said.

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