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Ward System for Columbus City Council - News & Updates

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Ward System for Columbus City Council – News & Updates

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 147 total)
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  • #473202

    News
    Participant

    Ward reps on Columbus City Council, step 1
    By Lucas Sullivan
    The Columbus Dispatch
    Tuesday June 26, 2012 7:14 AM

    A coalition that seeks to shift “political power back to the neighborhoods” by adding ward representatives to the Columbus City Council says it has enough signatures to place the issue on the November ballot. The Columbus Coalition for Responsive Government said it has about 31,000 signatures that it presented to the city clerk’s office yesterday. The group needs 19,164 certified signatures to put the proposal to a vote. The group wants the council changed from seven at-large members to four at-large and seven district or ward representatives.

    READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/06/26/ward-reps-on-city-council-step-1.html

    #473203

    pilsner
    Participant

    Columbus City Hall has just as much institutional corruption as the state and federal government. I get the emails from the Coleman and Ginther campaigns requesting up to $2,500 bribes, correction campaign contributions. Suburban tycoons control Columbus City Hall through campaign contributions and the at-large council structure. It would have been good to have some discord on Council when the $250 MILLION bailout was about to be given to Nationwide Insurance and four of the richest families in the Columbus area for their failed business plan—-McConnells, Wolfes, Pizzutis, and Cranes. Columbus and Seattle are the only big cities left with at-large councils. There is no excuse for not supporting this reform other than the power-brokers don’t want to lose any of their grip of power to the citizens and neighborhoods.

    #473204

    pilsner
    Participant
    #473205

    NDaEast
    Participant

    When people do not have principled opposition, they resort to distortions and mistruths, as did the Mayor’s spokesman by trying to compare our proposal to Cleveland. We are proposing a different model government than Cleveland’s all-ward model. Our is a mixed, or combination, electoral model — it has been the preferred choice of almost all major municipalities over the last 45 years.

    City Council has initiated amendments to the Charter 69 times over the past 98 years, by simply passing by 2/3rd majority legislation to put an issue on the ballot. After 31,000 signatures indicate a lot of public interest in voting on this issue, Council should simply pass an ordinance to put it on the ballot like it has for every other charter amendment. It doesn’t cost a dime for the city to let the people vote. But council will want to hold onto their power and control, despite the people indicating there is interest in change.

    The Columbus Coalition is calling for Council to facilitate democracy, by putting the issue on the ballot and letting the people decide their form of government. Public debate is a good thing in a democracy, and these issues need to be debated.

    #473206

    NDaEast
    Participant

    Video of the press conference announcing delivery of signatures to City Hall. Part 1

    #473207

    NDaEast
    Participant

    This is what 30,000 signatures look like: Angie Blevins, City Clerk, logs in the 1,197 petitions received from the Coalition.

    #473208

    NDaEast
    Participant

    The Columbus Coalition (www.facebook.com/columbus.coalition) urges Columbus groups to consider and adopt the following resolution:

    A RESOLUTION URGING COUNCIL TO SPONSOR A BALLOT ISSUE

    Whereas, Columbus City Council consists of seven members, all of whom are elected at large in citywide elections since adoption of the Charter in 1914; and

    Whereas, this all at large form of government is an outmoded form of government for a city that has grown from 181,500 people in 24.5 square miles in 1914, to Columbus’s current size of more than 800,000 people in more than 225 square miles in 2012; and

    Whereas, Columbus has the smallest City Council of all of the nine large Ohio cities, except for Dayton which has a 5 member Council, despite the fact that Columbus dwarfs all other Ohio cities in both population and geography; and

    Whereas, 47 of the 50 largest cities in America all have District representation in their Councils, and mixed electoral systems are widely accepted as a very acceptable and contemporary form of governance; and

    Whereas, the average Council for a top 50 city consists of 13 members, 2 elected At Large and 11 elected from Districts; and

    Whereas, Detroit voters replaced their all at large form of government with a District-based council in 2009 and the City of Austin’s political leadership is now in the process of doing the same; and

    Whereas, pursuant to laws passed by the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice has litigated against more than 300 cities on the basis of the voter dilution impact of At Large elections, and the clear trend of cities over the past 45 years has been to move toward District-based forms of government; and

    Whereas, it is commonly accepted that all At Large Councils repress a full range of policy issues and cause more expensive and less-competitive elections; and

    Whereas, in the past 28 years only 3 Columbus council members have been elected by the voters prior to beginning their service on Council – all others being appointed; and

    Whereas, all 7 current members of Council were appointed into their seats initially, rather than elected, which calls into question whether the Council is legitimately controlled by the citizens or by the appointers and other interests; and

    Whereas, the Columbus Coalition for Responsive Government has gathered the signatures of more than 26,000 Columbus residents who believe the voters of Columbus should have a chance to vote on November 6, 2012 on whether to amend the City Charter to provide for District representation; and

    Whereas, the Columbus Coalition’s proposal calls for an 11 member City Council with 4 members elected At Large and 7 members elected from Districts, with Districts proposed by an Apportionment Board; and

    Whereas, time is of the essence in that the Coalition’s proposal honors the electorate by ensuring that all 7 elected incumbents are able to serve the full-term to which they were elected prior to the transition to District-based government; and

    Whereas, the Council of the City of Columbus has previously amended the Charter on 69 occasions by passing ordinances to do so with a 2/3rds majority, pursuant to the City Charter; and

    Whereas, the Council-initiated process is the most efficient path for a proposed Charter change to get to the ballot for consideration by Columbus voters; and

    Whereas, it is the Council’s job to represent the interests of the citizenry and Council members are sworn to efficient service; and

    Whereas, the citizenry has spoken through petitions of its desire for a November 6, 2012 vote on the council reform legislation proposed by the Columbus Coalition for Responsive Government;

    NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:

    The ______________________ (name of organization) believes that the expressed desire of 26,000 Columbus citizens are sufficient cause for Columbus City Council to pass an ordinance putting the current charter change initiative for a vote of the citizenry; and that

    The _____________________ strongly urges Council to act without delay to pass an ordinance prior to July 30, 2012, to provide for a November 6, 2012 vote by the citizens of Columbus on the form of district-based government proposed by the Columbus Coalition for Responsive Government.

    #473209

    pilsner
    Participant

    When was the last time someone was elected to City Council without being appointed first?

    #473210

    pilsner
    Participant

    What motivates someone to give $2,500 to a city council member? And how many of the $2500 campaign contributors don’t even live in Columbus?

    Columbus City Council President Andrew J. Ginther
    invites you to attend a reception
    Tuesday, May 22, 2012
    5:30 – 7:30 pm
    Dempsey’s
    346 S High Street
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    $2500 Sponsor $1000 Host $500 Friend
    Online donations are welcome at http://www.andrewginther.

    #473211

    NDaEast
    Participant

    pilsner said:
    When was the last time someone was elected to City Council without being appointed first?

    Good question: it was 1995 , Mary Ellen O’Shaugnessy (it probably didn’t hurt that her last name is a reservoir, and there is a family political history). In the last 28 years, only three council members have had to run for election prior to being appointed, and of the current members, all 7 have been appointed.

    Members Paley and Troy were appointed by votes of 3-0, because members Tavares and Tyson refused to vote because they were kept out of the process. And members Mills and Klein never had to get 1000 signatures to get on the ballot at all, because they just replaced two other non-candidates on the signature petition after all the signatures had already been collected (so nobody knew they were going to be on the ticket when they signed the ballot petitions).

    What a wonderful voting record we have with how our council members get appointed … but we’ve got 31,000 signatures and can’t get any love.

    http://columbuscoalition.info/Columbus_City_Council_Through_the_years.pdf

    #473212

    gramarye
    Participant

    My principal principled objection to this concept flows from the spectre of inter-neighborhood parochial squabbles. That said, considering how many other cities seem to be managing that well enough, that doesn’t seem to be manifesting itself too strongly. I wonder if one-party rule actually contributes to that (i.e., whether a lone Republican district in a Columbus segregated into districts might get the short end of the stick because of partisan voting).

    My other objection is simply a generalized “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” argument. Columbus has been one of the most successful cities in the state over the past 20 years. Even though I disagree with some major decisions such as the arena bailout, Columbus is still doing a lot more right than wrong.

    #473213

    NDaEast
    Participant

    gramarye said:
    My principal principled objection to this concept flows from the spectre of inter-neighborhood parochial squabbles. That said, considering how many other cities seem to be managing that well enough, that doesn’t seem to be manifesting itself too strongly … My other objection is simply a generalized “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” argument. Columbus has been one of the most successful cities in the state over the past 20 years. Even though I disagree with some major decisions such as the arena bailout, Columbus is still doing a lot more right than wrong.

    I appreciate the thoughtful comments, which I’d like to offer some perspectives on. You are correct in stating that inter-neighborhood squabble issue is overblown by the political opponents of Districts here, and that for 200+ years District-based electoral models have been the preferred model of government at the federal, state and local levels. While the federal system is hyper-partisan, experience shows at a local level, as Mayor LaGuardia famously said, “there is no democratic or republican way to clean the streets.”

    While Districts is a nonpartisan issue, here in Columbus one of the values to having people elected by District (IMHO) is that they would be less beholden to the party infrastructure and its “happy talk”, and more accountable to their constituents. The larger issue that I see, is a continuing dumbing down of the public discourse, with nobody asking the hard questions — such as whether the public rationale presented for the Arena District bailout actually holds water (it doesn’t — downtown has shed jobs and businesses every year since the Arena came on-line, and the Arena District has pulled major employers from 65 E. State, the BancOne building, and other near Capitol Square locations).

    You are right: Columbus has done well compared to other Ohio cities. But nobody has ever asserted (until recently) that the success of the city was due to our At Large system of government. We have looked at 20 years of public statements about the success of Columbus, and these are the reasons cited: 1) the Sensenbrenner era (1950’s) water/sewer service annexation policies that allowed Columbus to avoid being ringed by suburbs and keep growing it tax base to capture what in land locked cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati is suburban growth, 2) the presence of the state capitol with its stable jobs and associated industries, 3) the largest public university in the country, 4) and the balanced economy which was thought to make Columbus “recession proof” (at one point listed at 20% industrial, 20% FIRE, 20% education, 20% government/healthcare, 20% services).

    Over 20 years of public dialogue about the success of Columbus that we looked at, not a single person mentioned At Large governance as a factor in the city’s relative overall success.

    To be clear, many Columbus neighborhoods have been experiencing long-term decline, though — so the good news is not universal.

    Here is a sample from a press release about a recent study of the City by Community Research Partners, the United Way/City of Columbus/Franklin County-funded research entity:

    “Franklin County’s population has grown almost 9 percent — more than 94,000 people — since 2000, but parts of Linden, the East Side, the Far East Side, the South Side, Franklinton, the Hilltop and several other Columbus neighborhoods all experienced declines.

    “It really has the characteristics of a typical central-city area ,” said Roberta Garber, executive director of Community Research Partners, a Columbus data-analysis organization. “With the city of Columbus, you really have a city within a city.”

    Columbus was the only major Ohio city to gain population in the past decade, growing 10.6 percent to 787,000. Because Columbus is not locked in by suburbs like Cleveland and Cincinnati are, the growing parts of the city mask the decline in the core, Garber said.

    “Basically, this is a trend that has been going on since the 1970s,” Garber said. “There has been a fairly steady loss of population in older Columbus.”

    #473214

    cheap
    Member

    gramarye said:

    My other objection is simply a generalized “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” argument. Columbus has been one of the most successful cities in the state over the past 20 years. Even though I disagree with some major decisions such as the arena bailout, Columbus is still doing a lot more right than wrong.

    you are only looking at the short north/downtown area.

    other areas of this town have been jacked up for years,and not totally the govt’s fault.

    you have an element that lives in those areas,and they are tolerated & accepted,and the ruin continues because of that

    as for wards,we already have “neighborhood associations” in this town,and they are worthless.

    #473215

    cheap
    Member

    looks like one neighborhood association is on the attack against a ward system

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/blogs/the-city/2012/06/council-wards.html

    #473216

    cheap said:
    you are only looking at the short north/downtown area.

    other areas of this town have been jacked up for years,and not totally the govt’s fault.

    you have an element that lives in those areas,and they are tolerated & accepted,and the ruin continues because of that

    as for wards,we already have “neighborhood associations” in this town,and they are worthless.

    Every city has ghettos. If you think Columbus, s are that bad you need to travel more. I understand you live on the Westside and are probably tired f dealing with the ignorant people out there, but why not just move to the short north when your lease is up? I think some of your animosity towards the central part of the city is really jealousy because you wished you did not live out west. Just move dude. I lived in a crappy area once too and when you are surrounded by trash all day it can be depressing.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 147 total)

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