VANDALIA — Residents in the City of Vandalia voted Tuesday to amend the city’s charter as well as elect three individuals to the City Council and re-elect Mayor Arlene Setzer, who had 3666 votes cast for her.
Council members Bob Ahlers and Dave Gerhard were unopposed for their current seats while Richard Herbst ran unopposed to fill the seat currently held by Dave Brusman, Jr., who did not run for re-election. Ahlers, Gerhard and Herbst received 2629, 2654 and 2845 votes, respectively.
The Charter Amendments, 12 in all, were approved.
“We’re obviously pleased that the amendments were approved by voters,” said Mayor Arlene Setzer. “I think it’s a reflection on the effort and careful consideration demonstrated by our Charter Review Committee.”
“These are changes that in some cases help us to be in compliance with State law, and in other cases will allow us to operate more efficiently,” added Setzer. “It is obvious voters took time to read through these proposals and agreed with our committee that these changes were necessary.”
The changes were recommended by a five member Charter Review Committee.
The approved charter amendments, which were Issues 23-34 follow:
- 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.
Reach Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com.