Whitehall residents might be asked on the November ballot whether to extend the length of term limits currently in place for elected officials such as the mayor and City Council members.

The five-member Whitehall charter review commission was scheduled to meet April 9 at Whitehall City Hall.

There, they were expected to conclude their review of the city's 86-section charter, commission Chairman Jack Soma said.

The commission's members -- Kim Bentley, Allyson Sharp, Kevin Skinner, Paul Werther and Soma -- have made quick work of their task of scrutinizing the city's charter, which acts as a "constitution" to define the government's powers and responsibilities.

The April 9 meeting was just the commission's fourth since its first gathering Feb. 26.

City Council President Jim Graham said he expects the commission to call at least one additional meeting to further discuss sections of the charter for which recommendations for amendments might arise, as well as to fulfill an additional charge.

"In the past, the commission has simply returned to (council) a list of (recommended amendments) but never the reasons behind their rationale, so I have asked (the commission) to give us the reasons (for proposed amendments)," said Graham, who has attended the commission's meetings.

The charter requires a five-member commission to convene at least once every five years for review.

In 2013, a charter review commission suggested an amendment to abolish term limits for the mayor, City Council members and other elected officials, but the measure failed, with 62.5 percent of those who voted rejecting the issue. The vote kept the current two-term limit in place.

Now, commission members are considering extending term limits instead.

"There has been discussion of possibly making the term for the mayor or other elected officials three terms," Graham said.

Mayor Kim Maggard was elected to her second term in 2015, a term she will complete at the end of 2019. She would not be eligible for re-election unless the charter is amended.

According to minutes of the commission's March 12 session, members discussed eliminating term limits, but also the possibility of establishing a three-term limit.

Commission members indicated they would revisit the issue for further discussion.

Commission members also discussed succession of the elected city attorney and establishing protocol in the event no candidate files for that office or of city auditor.

The commission has yet to present recommendations to City Council.

Council has final determination to accept any, all or none of the recommendations of the charter review commission, Graham said.

Council members would need to enact legislation to place any proposed charter amendments on the ballot for consideration by voters.

The filing deadline for the Nov. 6 ballot is Aug. 8 at the Franklin County Board of Elections.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo