SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. — City leaders have completed the process of changing South Pittsburg's 97-year-old charter to speed up passage of new ordinances.
The state requires only two readings for the passage of municipal ordinances, City Administrator Sammy Burrows said, but South Pittsburg's City Charter has mandated three readings since its inception in 1917.
Burrows said some city leaders were concerned about "delays in getting things done" because of that requirement.
The South Pittsburg City Commission voted unanimously in January to request the modification to the charter be approved by state lawmakers.
The private act, sponsored by Rep. Billy Spivey, R-Lewisburg, and Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma, was signed recently by Gov. Bill Haslam.
The board voted unanimously this week to ratify Private Chapter No. 64.
The act will be signed by city administrators and "returned promptly" to Secretary of State Tre Hargett's office, which will make the change official, Mayor Jane Dawkins said.
Modifying the city's charter was "long awaited" and brings the town "into this century," she said.
"Anytime we had to pass something, it had to be on three readings, and the rest of the world was just having to have two," Dawkins said.
According to the updated charter, the board is required to hold a public hearing before each second and now final reading of an ordinance, so residents can voice their opinions on a proposed statute.
"This makes things a little easier and not so cumbersome when we go to approve an ordinance," Dawkins said.
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.