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PEOPLE 'FED UP WITH . . . CITY HALL,' CHARTER FORUM TOLD

Only four people turned out for the City Charter Review Commission's second public forum Thursday, which ended up being held around a picnic table outside of the LaSalle Neighborhood Facility because no one unlocked the door to the building.

The small group gave commission members the same message as the nine people who attended Tuesday's forum:

"We the people are fed up with what we see in City Hall," said Donald MacKender of 81st Street.

"This area has become so corrupt from politics and special interest groups, it's pitiful."

"If you're going to change the charter, don't Band-Aid it for special interest groups," he said.

MacKender suggested moving to a system of four district Council members, with one elected at large who could be the mayor or Council chairman. He said the city can't afford to keep paying legal fees so the two branches of government can be in court every month.

Thomas C. Netzer of 93rd Street said he wants to go back to the City Council-city manager form of government that was in place before 1988. He said the city needs a professional manager.

"I just hope you have the guts to stand up to what's wrong," Netzer said.

Jeffrey M. Paterson, a commission member, said the commission is totally independent and, although appointed by the Council, is not "indebted" to the Council nor will it's recommendations be subject to Council review. The commission's recommendations on charter changes will go directly to the voters in a public referendum.

Paterson said even the best document won't work if the people involved don't cooperate but "it's guaranteed not to work if it's structurally conflicted and wrong.

"What we need to do is sit down and create a structure that will work," he said.

The next forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 27 at the John A. Duke Senior Citizens Center, 1201 Hyde Park Blvd.

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