MOUNT VERNON — Efficiency and flexibility are terms often used for promoting charters, but what does that amount to?
The Ohio Municipal League’s “Municipal Charters in Ohio,” spells them out:
•Procedural matters may be made more efficient, such as simplified Civil Service procedures.
•Elections can be made partisan or non-partisan, as the community chooses.
•Number of council representatives can be modified to be more or less than the O.R.C. specifies, and they can be either ward or at-large or a mix of both.
•Procedures for enacting and publishing ordinances may be modified.
•Different procedures for initiative and referendum can be provided, such as changing the number of signatures required.
•In statutory cities, elections on ordinances initiated or subject to referendum may be voted on only at a general election. A charter may authorize such elections at a primary, a general election or a special election.
•Councils of non-charter municipalities do not have the power to submit ordinances to a vote on their own initiative, except tax levies and bond issues. That authority can be expanded under a charter.
•Assessment procedures can be provided which are less complex than those in the general statutes.
•Charters can be amended by the city residents; to change to Ohio Revised Code takes an act of the General Assembly.