The Portland City Council approved two charter changes to be sent to the Tennessee Legislature's next session in January.
Both measures have to do with elections and term limits, some of that coming as a result of the 2018 city elections.
At the top of the consideration list is the measure that would require any City Council member who declares and subsequently runs for the office of mayor in Portland to have to resign his or her council seat once approved for the ballot by the Sumner County Election Commission, in order to run for mayor. The mayor and aldermen will then nominate and vote for an interim council member to fill out the remainder of the vacating candidate's term.
In the 2018 election, both Mike Callis, who won the election, and his challenger Beverly Watson were sitting members of the City Council vying to succeed outgoing Mayor Ken Wilber, who announced early in 2018 that he would not be seeking re-election for a fourth term.
Callis, who was the city's vice mayor before winning the mayor's seat then had to give up his seat on the council that had two more years to run. That spot was filled by Thomas Dillard, who was the highest remaining vote-getter last November after Drew Jennings, Megann Thompson and Mike Hall were all elected to seats in the election process.
Watson, whose term on the council expired, had also been nominated for the open seat that went to Dillard by a 4-2 vote.
The other part of the proposed charter change will create term limits for both the mayor and all council members. Through this change, no mayor is allowed to serve more than three consecutive terms or more than five terms altogether.
The same term limit process will also apply to council members.
Once the state legislature signs off on these charter changes, the measure will come back to the City Council and will have to pass with at least five votes in order to make the changes official and applicable.