What the heck is a code city? And why should Port Orchard care?

The Port Orchard City Council will hold a public forum Tuesday on a proposal to change the way it conducts business.

Becoming a “code city” would give the council more local control and flexibility in running the city’s business, said Pat Mason, legal consultant for the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington, a nonprofit providing research and information to local governments. Residents probably would not notice the change, Mason added.

The handful of people who were at the last month’s meeting at which the topic was reviewed, however, expressed apprehension that the change could give the council too much unchecked power. The council, in the interest of transparency, decided to hold the forum before taking any action.

After the forum Tuesday, the council will consider a resolution initiating the switch to a code code. Residents would have 90 days to submit a petition against making the change.

The proposal has nothing to do with an idea Mayor Lary Coppola floated in March to change from a mayor-council form of government to a council-city manager model.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 216 Prospect St., Port Orchard.

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