With Only A Month Before Ward Vote, City Leaders Plan A Charter Review

Jul 6, 2016

With less than a month before the August elections, Mayor Andrew Ginther has announced the formation of a committee that will review how to best restructure Columbus City Council.

The group, Represent Columbus managed to collect some 38,000 signatures in order to bring, Issue 1 to the ballot. Come August 2nd, voters will decide if the city council should be restructured to include more members and a ward-style representation system. 

Mayor Ginther says if people are calling to restructure city government, he wants it done in a way that's transparent and includes the voices of Columbus residents. Ginther says not only was Issue 1 created in secret,    but $100,000 dollars was used to collect signatures and it's not clear how the city would be divided into wards.  

"Nobody has explained how we're going to pay for this dramatic increase in elected official and their staff," said Ginther. "That money is going to come out of neighborhoods, police officers and fire fighters, code enforcement." 

The group One Columbus calls Issue 1 "a half-baked proposal pretending to represent the people."

To chair their committee, the Mayor and City Council plan on selecting seven community members. For their research, Ginther says they will study successful models used in other cities and hold a series of seven public meetings to gather feedback from Columbus residents.

By early next year, the committee with present their recommendations and if necessary, City Council members and the Mayor will have the opportunity to make revisions. If their final suggestions include changes to the city's charter, the issue could again be brought before voters.   

Editors Note: Broadcast and the previous online version of this story incorrectly reported the number of signatures gathered by represent Columbus

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