* Citizen Representation: The present city government has five city council members elected at large. The mayor is appointed annually by those council members. The charter will increase the council to seven members - one each to be elected by the residents of four newly created wards and three, including the mayor, to be elected at large.
* Citizen Participation: The charter will provide new tools for citizens to directly make changes they feel necessary - initiative elections to propose new ordinances, referendum elections to eliminate existing ordinances, and recall elections to remove elected officials.
* Conflicts of Interest: The charter proposes strict procedures, including removal from office, to assure decisions are not affected by the self-interest of any elected official.
* Financial Management: Processes for developing a five-year capital plan and annual administrative budgets, investment policies, and public participation in these processes, are intended to provide a solid and secure base for city operations.
* Citizen Access: In addition to required open meetings, the charter expands access to governmental proceedings through use of the Internet to announce meeting agendas and disseminate minutes.
* Continuity: The charter provides a schedule for orderly transition from the current city council structure to the new one and includes provisions to adjust procedures and ordinances to agree with the home rule charter's direction.
* Tax Limitations: Specific sections of the charter require public hearings before the adoption of tax rates and public elections before the adoption of any new taxes.