The first two of nine recommendations for changes to Mt. Lebanon’s home rule charter will appear on next month’s election ballot.
A volunteer committee studied the 39-year-old charter from June 2012 to December 2013 and presented its recommendations to the Commission earlier this year. The recommended changes that will be put to a referendum on election day, November 4, have to do with gender-neutral language and with the use of electronic media to advertise public notices.
The ballot questions and explanations follow:
Special Election Question #1: Shall Articles III, IV, V, VI, VII, X, XII and XV of the Municipality of Mt. Lebanon Home Rule Charter be amended to be gender neutral by removing any references to any persons using the words “he” or “his” as more fully described in Mt. Lebanon Ordinance No. 3246?
When the charter was adopted in 1975, masculine pronouns were generally the default. So if this change goes through, the charter will read like this: “The Manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the Municipality. The Manager shall have the following duties:”
Special Election Question #2: Shall Articles III, IX, XII and XIV of the Municipality of Mt. Lebanon Home Rule Charter be amended to provide that the Mt. Lebanon Commissioners may amend the Administrative Code to permit the publication of notices by electronic, physical or other means, as more fully set forth in Mt. Lebanon Ordinance No. 3247?
In 1975, when the charter was written, advertising notices such as public meetings, adopting a budget or changing an ordinance were placed in newspapers. There was no Internet back then. The recommended change would give the Commission more latitude in giving notice, balancing the written notices with postings on the municipal website, sending out LeboALERTS and using other technology not available 39 years ago, while still requiring the paper notices to be posted at the municipal building. Last year, Mt. Lebanon spent about $18,000 in newspaper ads giving the required public notice.