The Brookhaven City Council has approved a resolution to make changes to its city charter that first must be approved by the General Assembly, including allowing the mayor to serve three terms instead of two and changing the process for approving the mayor and council’s expense accounts.
The proposed changes would permit the mayor to serve three terms, rather than the two terms currently allowed in the city’s charter. Each term is for four years. Mayor John Ernst, who is seeking his second term in the city’s November election, is eligible for the three terms.
Some council members in December balked at allowing Ernst to be eligible for another term because the charter change is being proposed during his term. But the vote to allow it was unanimous.
The mayor and City Council members are paid annual salaries as allowed in the charter, $16,000 for the mayor and $12,000 for council members. The charter also currently allows the mayor to have an annual expense account of $5,000 and the council members to have a $3,000 expense account.
A proposed change to the charter would eliminate a specific amount for expense accounts and instead set the expense account amounts as part of the city’s budget process. No specific amount is tied to the proposed charter change.
The General Assembly must approve city charter changes that affect the city’s election process and payment to the city’s elected officials.