Last August Circleville voters elected to form and seat a Charter commission. One of the former Elected Charter Commissioners, I also held a seat on the Communications Committee, the main focus being public education.
Meeting 2 to 4 times a week for almost a year, the commission’s task was to produce, with the guidance of legal counsel, an Ohio Home Rule Charter for our fellow citizens to scrutinize with the voters deciding on its passage this August 2nd.
A frequent objection to the Circleville Charter is that, “under a charter form of government there would be no checks and balances”. Herald letters, July 21. While this is patently untrue, it may be more important to remember that we cannot think of the proposed new government under a Charter, a local, mini- constitution, in the same way we think about our current form of government.
Currently, our city operates only under the laws written by the State. Our current form of government does not provide for protections and benefits to the people, as does a system of Local Self-Governance, such as a Home Rule Charter.
With just a week to go before the election, this becomes more an issue of understanding what it could mean for our city to transition from a form of government that essentially puts most of the control or power in the hands of one person, the mayor, with the power of the veto, not to mention influence, to a form of government that gives more control to the Council, the people’s representatives. The charter allows the representatives of the people to hire, and they may fire a city manager for poor performance, on our behalf.
Both a Mayor and a City Manager who act as the CEO of the city have the potential to fail at their job. The difference for the people they lead is this: a mayor has to practically commit a felony to be impeached and impeachment does not ensure removal from office. That could be years in coming if it ever happens on a local level. There are no term limits for the mayor. And let’s face it, in a smaller community, elections have the potential to be won or lost on the basis of popularity rather than on issues important to the people.
On the other hand, one of the most profound things we heard from one of the City Managers (Joseph J. Denen ; City Manager, Washington Court House, Ohio), who came to talk to the Charter Commission at one of our many public meetings was, “I wake up every day, knowing that by a vote of 4 representatives of the people, I could be out of a job.”
That my friends, is EMPOWERING THE PEOPLE!
VOTE YES for self-governance!
2021/2022 Charter Commissioner
VOTE YES FOR THE CHARTER
You will find accurate information about the charter and may ask questions on our Facebook page
CITIZENS FOR CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO CHARTER
EMAIL: [email protected]