County Charter
Revised Charter
Placed On
August 3 Ballot

County Legislature
Holds Charter
Public Hearing

May 10, 2010
Task Force Presents
To Legislature

Share Your
Suggestions For
Charter Updates
Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders wants your input about updating the County Charter.
Public Hearings
The Jackson County Charter Task Force holds public hearings April 7 and April 14, 2010 to obtain input from citizens about updating the County Charter.

Task Force
Meeting Videos
The work of the Charter Task Force is being done in full view of the public. Download video of the panel's meetings.

March 15, 2010
County Executive
Appoints Charter
Task Force

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders names seven citizens to serve on panel to review County Charter.

November 12, 2009
State of County
Address Calls For 
Review of Charter
County Executive Mike Sanders announces his intent to form a panel to make recommendations for updating County Charter.

In The Voters' Hands...
Revised Charter On August 3 Ballot

Jackson County voters will have the final say about whether or not to approve the revised Charter when they go to the polls August 3, 2010.

Charter Fact Sheet (PDF)


Official Ballot Language


AUGUST 3, 2010

Shall the Jackson County Charter adopted by vote on November 3, 1970, and as amended in public vote on August 8, 1978, April 2, 1985, November 4, 1986 and August 2, 1994 be repealed and the Proposed 2010 Jackson County Charter, as filed in final form on May 25, 2010 with the Clerk of the County Legislature, be enacted in lieu thereof as the 2010 Jackson County Charter?

YES                            NO

Voting August 3

To participate in the August 3 primary election, voters will be asked to declare their political party and then be given a ballot featuring that party's candidates for various offices, including U.S. senator and representative, as well as state legislator and Jackson County Legislator and Executive. Winners of the August 3 primaries will move on to the November 2 general election.

The revised Charter is a general-election item that will appear on everyone's August 3 ballot, regardless of the voter's political affiliation. Voters not wishing to declare a party affiliation to participate in the primary election can still cast a ballot August 3. They'll receive what the election boards call an "issues-only" ballot that will include the revised Charter among other issues for voters to consider, including some state-wide initiatives.

Register To Vote Deadline

To be eligible to cast a ballot in the August 3 election, you must have registered to vote by the end of business on Wednesday, July 7.

JUNE 23, 2010 --In March Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders appointed a task force to review the County Charter and make recommendations for updating it. The County Legislature reviewed those recommendations in May and has approved placing a revised Charter on the August 3 ballot.

"I'd like to thank the members of the Charter Task Force and the County Legislature for their hard work on the most comprehensive review of the Charter since its original passage in 1970," Sanders said.

Key updates included in the proposed revised Charter include:

Good Government Initiatives

No Bid Professional Services Contracts – The proposed Charter would limit the County Executive’s power to award professional service contracts by requiring a competitive bid process for any contract exceeding $5,000. This ensures the best service provider is selected to perform work on behalf of Jackson County. Currently there are no limits in the Charter for the Executive in awarding professional service contracts.

Definition of Discrimination – The proposed Charter would broaden what constitutes
"discrimination," adding protection to groups not protected by the current Charter. The revised Charter would add protections against discrimination related to gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and pregnancy status. By prohibiting discrimination based on these issues, the revised Charter will exceed state and federal protections.

Ethics Reform

More Efficient, Accessible and Transparent Government – The proposed Charter will create a single entity for citizens to submit complaints regarding the conduct of County officers, employees, volunteers and elected officials by consolidating the Ethics Commission with the Human Relations and Citizen Complaints Commission. This combined commission would have a fully staffed office.

Dual Reporting – The revised Charter requires any ethics complaint filed against the Executive or a member of the County Legislature to be automatically forwarded to the State Ethics Commission for review and additional oversight.

Ongoing Charter Review Process

Automatic Review Every 10 Years – The proposed Charter provides for an automatic Charter review every 10 years. The review would be conducted by a Citizen Charter Review Commission. This periodic review requires that an effort be made to keep the Charter updated and adjusted to allow for better County governance. The current Charter includes no automatic process for reviews.


Charter Downloads

 to download a version of the County Charter showing how it will be edited through proposed updates recommended by the Jackson County Charter Task and approved by the Jackson County Legislature. Edits are indicated through the use of bold-faced type, underlined text and strike-thru text.

CLICK HERE to download the revised version of the County Charter filed with the County Clerk's Office for inclusion on the August 3, 2010 ballot. (No edits marks are indicated.)

CLICK HERE to download a copy (PDF) of the current Jackson County Charter.

Charter Review Timeline

November 12, 2009: County Executive Sanders called for forming a panel to review the Constitutional Home Rule Charter, which voters approved in 1970, during his State of the County Address. He said, "Every 10 years, we are allowed this opportunity to examine our County Charter. 2010 is one of those years. I want the 2010 County Charter [task force] to look specifically at making permanent our initiatives surrounding ethics reform and limiting the powers afforded current and future County Executives."

March 15, 2010: County Executive Sanders appoints a seven-member task force to conduct a comprehensive review of the Charter and make recommendations for updating it. He names former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes the panels chairperson.

April 7, 2010 and April 14, 2010: The Charter Task Force conducts public hearings to gain insights from citizens regarding the County Charter.

May 10, 2010: On behalf of the Task Force, Barnes presents the panel's recommendations to the Jackson County Legislature.

May 24, 2010: After conducting their own public hearing on the subject, Jackson County Legislators vote to place the revised County Charter on the August 3, 2010 ballot. 


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