A draft bill sponsored by Sen. Carlene Walker, R-Cottonwood Heights, would put any change in the form of city government to a vote of the people.
The Legislature's Political Subdivisions Interim Committee unanimously approved the bill Wednesday.
Confusion over the form of government and the mayor's role in Bluffdale, Syracuse and Lehi in 2006 and 2007 prompted lawsuits and two referendums, which led to elections in Bluffdale and Syracuse. Eventually, the Legislature put a moratorium on changes to forms of local government until lawmakers could try to solve the confusion in the law.
Walker's bill would limit the options for forms of government in Utah's cities to three. One would be a council-mayor form, which could have a five- or seven-member council. The second would be a six-member council,with the mayor a non-voting member of the council except in case of a tie, when appointing or firing a city manager or when changing the mayor's duties. The mayor would have no veto power and would exercise administrative functions as delegated by the council.
And the third would be a five-member council with the mayor a voting member of the council who would perform ceremonial functions and serve as chairman of the council.
Other forms of government would be grandfathered into Walker's bill, but if cities wanted to change forms, residents would have to vote on the above three options.