Amendments to the Powell city charter won't muddy the waters for voters on the fall ballot.

Amendments to the Powell city charter won't muddy the waters for voters on the fall ballot.

At its Tuesday, July 17, meeting, council voted 6-0 to sideline seven updates to the city charter to keep the focus on a capital improvements levy request set to appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Councilwoman Sara Marie Brenner was absent due to a meeting conflict.

Council members said voters instead will consider the amendments, mostly housekeeping updates, on the ballot next spring.

The first primary election in 2013 is set for May 7.

The amendments would have appeared individually on the fall ballot because the city's charter review committee deemed each of them a noteworthy change.

That left some council members worried the crowded ballot could diminish the apparent significance of the city's levy, whose placement on the Nov. 6 ballot was finalized at the July 17 meeting.

Councilman Tom Counts said there would be no guarantee of the order in which the issues would appear on the ballot.

"Conceivably, these charter amendments could be first, and the capital improvements levy could be far below. I don't think there's the need to introduce that kind of confusion," Counts said.

Council members agreed none of the amendments are so pressing that they can't wait until 2013.

They include a policy update to give council the power to reprimand members who break council rules or are frequently absent.

The amendment would allow council to expel a member engaged in disorderly conduct, or who misses council meetings for two consecutive months or longer.

Other charter updates slated to appear on the ballot, pending council approval, include:

An amendment extending the length of terms for members of the city's planning and zoning commission and board of zoning appeals from three to four years; An amendment streamlining rules for seeking and awarding contracts for public improvements; An amendment establishing a review of the charter at least once every 10 years; An amendment clarifying the procedure for the filing and consideration of any referendum on a city ordinance; An amendment clarifying the rights of council for discussion of confidential information, including personnel matters, in private executive sessions; and An amendment aligning the city's conflict of interest policy for city officials with corresponding state laws.

Councilman Brian Lorenz said the amendments should appear as separate issues to give residents a chance to consider them individually.

"I think it's important to show those substantive changes and give voters the opportunity to pick and choose as they may," he said.

The city's 10-year, 1.8-mill property tax levy proposal, to be used for capital improvements, was set for the fall ballot this week.

It is effectively a renewal of the city's existing parks levy, which expires next year. If passed, it wouldn't raise taxes.

The proposed levy would generate about $7.2 million over its 10-year duration. It would continue to cost taxpayers about $55.13 for every $100,000 in home property value, and collection wouldn't begin until after the old issue expires.