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Jackson to amend city charter

By Michael Davis

mdavis@myjpa.com

For more than a decade, the Jackson City Council has apparently been meeting across the street from where it should've been.

A provision in the city charter adopted in 1996 states that City Council meetings are to be held in a conference room at City Hall. Meetings have not been held there since 1998, not long after the city took over what is now the municipal court building, across Mulberry Street from City Hall, Mayor Charlie Brown said.

The City Council has been meeting at the court building, despite a section of the city code that states: "The regular meetings of the City Council shall be held at 7 p.m., on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. All regular meetings shall be held in the conference room in City Hall. A notice containing the information described in this section shall be posted and maintained in a conspicuous place available to the general public at City Hall."

Brown said he discovered the outdated code section while reading through the charter recently. He said the next section in the charter, however, gives the council leeway in holding meetings elsewhere.

"A regular meeting may be canceled, rescheduled or moved to a new location by the mayor for any reason," the section states.

"Nobody probably would've ever noticed, but like I say, it's best to get it right," Brown said.

To that end, the City Council will hold a public hearing during its next meeting -- which will be held in the municipal court building -- on changing the charter to stipulate that council meetings will be held in the court building. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m., at 132 Mulberry Street.