Voters asked to amend Vandalia City Charter


VANDALIA — Voters in the City of Vandalia will be asked to amend the city’s charter as well as elect three individuals to the City Council and re-elect Mayor Arlene Setzer on Nov. 3. Council members Bob Ahlers and Dave Gerhard are running unopposed for their current seats while Richard Herbst is running unopposed to fill the seat currently held by Dave Brusman, Jr. who did not run for re-election.

The Charter Amendments, 12 in all, were recommended by a five member Charter Review Committee that met this summer to consider ways to “facilitate a more effective and efficient government and delivery of services.” Member of the committee were Corey Follick, Jack Shirley, Paul Courtney, Chris McAtee and Ryan Pelfrey.

The proposed Charter Amendments, which are Issues 23-34 on the Nov. 3 ballot, are:

  • Section 3.4 brings the city charter into alignment with state law and current practice regarding city meetings being open to the public unless the subject matter is specifically excepted by law and can be discussed in executive session.
  • Section 4.3 allows the city to post summaries of ordinances passed by council not only in a newspaper in general circulation (Currently the Vandalia Drummer News) but alternatively posted on the city’s web page and posted at the municipal building and two other public buildings in the city.
  • Section 4.5 sets the effective date of any ordinance at 30 days after adoption unless the ordinance specifies a later date.
  • Section 4.6 allows the city to post a copy of ordinances passed by council not only in a newspaper in general circulation (Currently the Vandalia Drummer News) but alternatively posted on the city’s web page and posted at the municipal building and two other public buildings in the city. The city will also maintain a copy.
  • Section 4.7 amends the charter by providing that emergency ordinances shall not be subject to referendum.
  • Section 5.1 removes the requirement that the City Manager reside within the corporate limits of the city. Current state legislation and rulings by the Ohio Supreme Court make the current requirement unenforceable.
  • Section 6.2 removes the requirement that department heads live with in the corporate limits of the city. Current state legislation and rulings by the Ohio Supreme Court make the current requirement unenforceable.
  • Section 6.4 removes the requirement that the City Attorney act as the prosecuting attorney for the city. The city currently employs a city prosecutor who is overseen by the City Attorney.
  • Section 7.3 more clearly defines the types of zoning decisions that are appealable and require that a favorable appeal must have an affirmative vote of at least three of the Board of Zoning Appeals members.
  • Section 7.6 removes the requirement that the Vandalia-Butler Board of Education elect a member of the City Civil Service Committee. The school district’s bargaining units have taken on the role of the Civil Service Commission.
  • Section 8.2 provides that nominations for city council shall be made by petition signed by not less than 75 qualified electors.
  • Section 10.11 clarifies what is permissible regarding employee and council conduct in an election climate.

For a more detailed explanation of the proposed charter amendments, click here.

Vandalia Mayor Arlene Setzer is running unopposed in the Nov. 3 election.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2015/10/web1_Arlene1.jpgVandalia Mayor Arlene Setzer is running unopposed in the Nov. 3 election. Photo by Darrell Wacker

City Council candidates Richard Herbst (left) and Bob Ahlers are running unopposed in the Nov. 3 election. Not pictured is Dave Gerhard, also running unopposed.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2015/10/web1_Council1.jpgCity Council candidates Richard Herbst (left) and Bob Ahlers are running unopposed in the Nov. 3 election. Not pictured is Dave Gerhard, also running unopposed. Photo by Darrell Wacker

Vandalia City Manager Jon Crusey explains the city’s 12 proposed Charter amendments that will be voted on Nov. 3.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2015/10/web1_Jon1.jpgVandalia City Manager Jon Crusey explains the city’s 12 proposed Charter amendments that will be voted on Nov. 3. Photo by Darrell Wacker

By Darrell Wacker

dwacker@civitasmedia.com

 

Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.

 

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