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Strongsville places five charter amendments on the November ballot; more may follow

July 24, 2018

Strongsville places five charter amendments on the November ballot; more may follow

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – City Council will ask residents in November to vote on at least five proposed amendments to the city charter.

The amendments were recommended by the city’s Charter Review Committee earlier this month. Council rejected some of the committee’s recommended charter amendments, and may place its own charter amendments on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Charter committee Chairman Gregory Gleine and committee member Kim Allen Veris, who presented the committee’s recommendations to council July 2, could not be reached Monday and Tuesday to explain the proposed amendments.

Council approved the five proposed charter amendments for the ballot on July 16. Here are the amendments council has cleared for the ballot so far:

Education for chiefs. Future police and fire chiefs would be required to hold bachelor’s degrees from accredited institutions. Existing Police Chief Mark Fender and existing Fire Chief Jack Draves would be exempted. Now, the charter has no educational requirements for the police and fire chiefs. Matt Schonhut was the only council member to vote against this amendment.

Council meeting time. Now, the charter states that council must meet the first and third Mondays of every month at 8 p.m. The proposed amendment would remove the 8 p.m. time requirement from the charter. Council would select the time of the council meeting by ordinance instead. Council approved this amendment unanimously for the ballot.

Ordinance postings. The charter now requires the city to post ordinances and resolutions in at least five public places at least 15 days before the ordinances and resolutions take effect. The proposed amendment would change the requirement to at least two public places. Council approved this amendment unanimously for the ballot.

Qualified electors. This amendment would create a new section 5, titled “Qualified Electors,” under Article VII of the charter. It would state that anyone 18 or older can vote if they are registered, and if they have been an Ohio resident at least 30 days before an election. If a Strongsville resident moves from one ward to another, they can vote in their new ward – and sign nominating, initiative, referendum or recall petitions – only if the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections corrects their registration to reflect their new address. Council approved this amendment unanimously for the ballot.

Officeholder qualifications. This amendment would create a new section 6, titled “General Qualifications of Elected Officials,” under Article VII of the charter. It would state that the mayor and council members must live in the city for at least one year immediately prior to their election or appointment, and that they must be qualified electors, as defined in the proposed new section 5. In addition, ward council members must live in the ward they represent at least one year prior to their election or appointment and must remain living in the ward during their entire term. Council approved this amendment unanimously for the ballot.

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