(Obsolete City Comptroller and Treasurer References)
Shall the Seattle City Charter be amended to eliminate obsolete references to City Comptroller and City Treasurer and re-assign various financial, auditing, claims, contracting and clerical functions, responsibilities and procedures previously assigned those officers to conform with other current charter and ordinance provisions and practice; and shall certain sections of Articles IV, V, VIII, XII and XVIII of said charter be amended and a new section added to Article VIII of said charter, accordingly?
The Charter as it Exists Now
In 1991 Seattle voters approved a City Charter amendment that, among other things, abolished the elective offices of City Comptroller and City Treasurer. The 1991 Charter amendment consolidated the City's financial-management functions in a Department of Finance, and allowed for the re-assignment of various functions, responsibilities and procedures previously assigned to the Comptroller and Treasurer.
Despite abolishing the elective offices of Comptroller and Treasurer, however, the 1991 Charter amendment did not eliminate all obsolete Charter references to those two offices. To allow for the re-assignment of certain functions of the Comptroller and Treasurer without having to change all obsolete Charter references, a sentence was added to the Charter as part of the 1991 amendment; this sentence states that: "The terms 'City Comptroller' and 'City Treasurer,' as may be used elsewhere, shall refer to the Director of Finance, except as the Council may by ordinance, re-assign these functions."
Thus, the Charter still contains numerous outdated references to the Comptroller and Treasurer and to functions, responsibilities and procedures formerly associated with them. These obsolete references do not conform with other current charter and ordinance provisions, or with current practice.
In addition, Subdivision B of Section 1 of Article 4 of the Charter contains language specifically requiring the Comptroller to "verify" the sufficiency of signatures in initiative petitions. Such verification now is done by the King County Department of Records and Elections.
The Effect of the Proposition if Adopted
The City Charter would be amended to eliminate obsolete references to the City Comptroller and City Treasurer, and to re-assign various financial, auditing, claims, contracting and clerical functions, responsibilities and procedures previously assigned to these two positions. These amendments would bring the Charter references in question into conformance with other current charter or ordinance provisions, and with current practice.