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Rochester Charter Commission asked to look into autonomy of library, park, utility boards

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) –  Do some of Rochester’s charter boards have too much power?

That’s the question Rochester’s City Council President is raising.

Council President Randy Staver sent a letter to the city’s Charter Commission, asking its members to reconsider the role of three charter boards.

These include the Utility Board, the Library Board, and the Park Board, all of which have more autonomy than other city boards and commissions.

He wants the Charter Commission to revisit how and why those boards were created in the first place and if it could be more efficient for them to operate more similarly to other city boards and commissions.

“There probably is some historical significance, there may be some statutory background to it but it raises a fair question,” said Fran Bradley, chair of the Charter Commission. “The autonomy versus the accountability to elected officials is sort of the question that’s raised.”

Staver adds in his letter that he doesn’t think the charter boards’ autonomy pose a problem right now, but he wonders if they’re simply a part of Rochester’s history that need to be reconsidered.

Erin O'Brien

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