Town clerk explains process behind controversial Frankford charter amendment

During the June 2 meeting of the Frankford Town Council citizens expressed concerns about the legal nature of a pending town charter amendment designed to allow for a pension plan for town employees.

While Town Clerk Terry Truitt and the council addressed some of those concerns publicly during the meeting — despite the subject not being included on the agenda — Truitt this week offered further explanation of both the proposed amendment and the process involved.

“There was a vote at the December 2013 meeting, at which there were only three members of council present, in which the motion was made to authorize [Town Solicitor] Dennis Schrader to introduce the charter amendments to the two representatives for our district,” Truitt stated, citing that the minutes of that meeting were available on the town website.

As promised in the June 2 meeting, Truitt said, Schrader was contacted on June 3 and asked to verify that the process has been handled legally. She then explained the initial reasons for the amendment.

“This topic of charter amendments came through the advice of the town auditor’s, after noting that the last two fiscal years’ budgets had exceeded the medical cost budgeted, due to inflationary reasons and employees.”

Truitt also noted that the council does not have the authority to amend the town charter on their own and has to first go through the Delaware House of Representatives, then to the state Senate, before the governor and a team of lawyers review it for possible signing in to law.

According to Truitt, the Gov. Jack Markell has already signed HB 274, regarding the removal of the 15 percent cap on employee benefits, and is also expected to sign HB 275 regarding town annexation.

The Town will hold a budget meeting on Monday, June 23, at 7 p.m., regarding the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.