Less than, Greater than (<,>)

Since the inception of Big Lick - the changing of the name to Roanoke, and on through 2002 - the Charter of the City of Roanoke has been changed, amended, added to, and subtracted from no less than 50 (fifty) times.

The greatest and most substantive changes to the Charter(.pdf) came in 2002.

2002, c. 685 (§§ 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3, 4 through 18, 20 through 24, 25.1,
25.2, 26, 27.1 [repealed], 29 [repealed], 31, 32, 33, 35, 36,
37 through 42, 44, 45, 47, 48 [repealed], 49 [repealed], 51,
52, 53, 54, 55 [repealed], 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 62, 62.01
[added], 62.02 [added], 62.1, 63, 65, 66, 67, 72).

It's hard to know exactly what was changed, although some things can be assumed when reading through the Charter.

What cannot be assumed, or understood, is the ability of the city council to find the worst possible way to carry out the charges of the Charter.

Example: (7.1) To own, manage and operate a city auditorium, civic center, coliseum, convention hall, stadium, theater, exhibition hall, or combination thereof, or other place of public assembly, and to permit the use of the same by others upon such terms and for such charges as the council may prescribe; and in order to further the best interests of the
public and lead to greater use of any such facilities, to do all things necessary and proper to encourage the use thereof by arranging or engaging shows, plays, exhibitions, performances and all other entertainments of whatsoever nature.
(emphasis mine)

Best interests of the public? That statement alone could cause decades of debate. "But that costs money.." some might cry.

"The council may appropriate funds to a special or revolving account in order to engage, advertise and promote any such entertainment and to operate any of the foregoing facilities,"and of course, then appoint someone to oversee this blah blah red tape red tape.

Oh - and it might interest you to know, this City originally had a Mayor.. not a mayor. There was a time when there was no City Manager, the Mayor worked with the council to set policy, and life actually still went on. Thats called Leadership.

Was the City in better shape under the guidance of a strong Mayor? Given the projects that were undertaken during the years before a City Manager - and those after: It could be so. Perspective, thats where it lies.

Theres more today, as we delve into the facts the City itself publishes online... and how many of you knew they were online?

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