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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 - 46 through 60 (of 147 total)
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  • #473217

    NEOBuckeye
    Participant

    Cleveland/Cuyahoga County’s new charter government seems to have been a generally positive development there by eliminating the now notorious corruption that ran rampant under the old county commissioner system and by moving the focus of social and economic development to a semi-regional level, away from the extremely parochial and too-often narrow-sighted local level of government.

    Even so, the debate among County Executive Ed FitzGerald and County Council members over where and how to spend revenues generated and received from the casinos illustrates everything that is unproductive and bad about a ward/district system of representation. FitzGerald has declared his desire to invest the money into Downtown Cleveland, recognizing the fact that the county and NE Ohio would benefit exponentially from having a revitalized urban core, and that additional growth and development would spill over and flow outward throughout the region. Many of the County reps however have expressed their own ideas for the money, ranging from divvying it up equally throughout each of the districts, to pet projects, to diverting it away from Cleveland altogether and putting it into the specific suburbs that they represent. Lost on each of them, it would seem, is the effect of focused and directed large scale investment.

    http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county/index.ssf/2012/06/cuyahoga_county_council_devises_more_ideas_for_spending_casino_revenue.html

    The above captures more or less in a nutshell the problem I have with traditional district/ward systems of representation. Too often, you end up with representatives that completely lose sight of the larger holistic goal of building a better city and region in total, and instead focus only on their respective fiefdoms. It’s pretty hard to argue that the latter wouldn’t somehow become the new normal for Columbus under a district/ward system. Would it be better? Maybe that’s a matter of opinion, but considering that all of Ohio’s other major cities are struggling economically under a district/ward system, and Columbus is flourishing under an all at-large system, I think it’s an issue that people should spend a considerable amount of time thinking about, reflecting upon and debating before making any serious decision at the ballot to change.

    #473219

    cheap
    Member

    local champion said:
    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.

    is this the food stamper or the professional whatever?

    #473222

    cheap said:
    is this the food stamper or the professional whatever?

    What difference foes it make? This is about you and your hatred of the short north that stems from your living location. Why did you rent there cheap? Are you that cheap? Honestly, it seems like another area of town is better for you. I can show you around town sometime if you like. Your disposition would greatly improve as negativity breeds negativity.

    #473224

    cheap
    Member

    sorry,you’re misreading me.i don’t hate the short north

    try reading what i say about the short north,and you’ll understand

    btw,i’ve lived in this city since the early 60’s

    there is nothing you can show me in this town that i havent seen,except for a gay bar.

    this topic is about wards anyway.

    #473226

    Maybe it is your tone? I sense a lot of anger in you and it seems to stem from your living situation. Foe the record both of us are reading this and agree. I think a change of scenery would suit you well. Maybe you have not been in the short north, a lot has changed since the 60’s old timer. Ha just kidding.

    #473218

    BCNation
    Participant

    WE support a ward system in our neighborhood (Franklin Park), because not one of the councilmen in the Rubber Stamp Circuit live on the Near East/South Side (which also includes OTE, the KLD, Woodland Park, Driving Park), and the problem with all at-large is, if you have 3 councilmen from Clintonville, another 3 from Westgate, and one from the boonies, then, it’s lopsided for Clintonville and Westgate, because they would get more attention than everyone else (except the SN, GV, & Downtown). Wards give equal representation to all of Columbus, because City Council is the Rubber Stamp Circuit, because all 7 City Councilmen were APPOINTED, and not elected by the people.

    #473220

    Anonymous
    Inactive

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    #473221

    cheap
    Member

    NDaEast said:
    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).

    good point,and i would press this hard to the voters in this town.

    the media in this town won’t ask the political hacks the hard questions after being told a bullshit answer,because they all have the same agenda.

    they are following the money,while ignoring the rest of the city.

    a ward system would make representatives more accountable to their constituents who all have different agendas according to district.
    some areas have crime issues,some have traffic issues,etc.

    i feel this would get more traction if there was a new city council in place.

    #473223
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Why not just change the appointment system? It sounds like a lot of people have an issue with that, but are proposing a ward system as a fix. What’s to say that ward representatives won’t all be appointed if those rules are the same?

    #473225

    cheap
    Member

    i guess that’s another petition to work on.

    #473227

    NDaEast
    Participant

    Walker said:
    Why not just change the appointment system?

    Someone else can, and that would make good sense. But the question we put on the table was for a change to Districts, for all the other benefits that Districts would bring — including a more “normal” government, rather than the extreme, archaic version of governance we have now.

    Our system of governance is so outdated that our Charter has an unlawful provision in it that requires for a citizens’ amendment to have 10% of the entire electorate (around 49,000 valid signatures), rather than the law since 1986 of 10% of the people who voted in the last general election. 10% of the electorate is basically an unreachable number … it would require about as many people to sign an initiative petition to simply put an issue on the ballot, as the number of people who voted for Mayor Coleman in the last election. Our charter is a distinctly elitist document designed to be kept out of the hands of the citizens, and change needs to start there.

    #473228

    NDaEast
    Participant

    NEOBuckeye said:
    The above captures more or less in a nutshell the problem I have with traditional district/ward systems of representation. Too often, you end up with representatives that completely lose sight of the larger holistic goal of building a better city and region in total, and instead focus only on their respective fiefdoms. It’s pretty hard to argue that the latter wouldn’t somehow become the new normal for Columbus under a district/ward system. Would it be better? Maybe that’s a matter of opinion, but considering that all of Ohio’s other major cities are struggling economically under a district/ward system, and Columbus is flourishing under an all at-large system, I think it’s an issue that people should spend a considerable amount of time thinking about, reflecting upon and debating before making any serious decision at the ballot to change.

    “Spillover and flow outwards to the region” … sounds kind of like trickle-down. Sorry, my friend, but that’s a goofy and uninformed argument all dressed up. Are you suggesting that all the money go downtown?, and that the rest of the 225 square miles of Columbus will benefit from the “spill over?”

    And haven’t you heard that for at least the past 15 years the various central Ohio municipal development officials and politicians can’t coordinate on a regional tax incentives strategy to stop using tax incentives to poach companies from each other. Just a month or two ago they announced that they wouldn’t sign on to an agreement they thought was finalized — and this is with our all At Large Council –which has nothing to do with anything you are talking about.

    And you can’t seriously be representing that our At Large form of government has driven our economy all these years, can you? That the rotating cast of 7 economic gurus on Council have guided Columbus’s relative success for decades (and that it has nothing to do with annexation, state government, and a huge university)? That’s just laughable.

    In fact, it was Mayor Sensenbrenner — a strong proponent of Council Districts in the 1950s — who put in place the growth strategy of using water and sewer contracts with the suburbs to maintain growth corridors so Columbus could continue to grow out around its suburb and continue to capture new development/tax revenues.

    Please re-read the comments from Roberta Garber (above) about the fact that Columbus’s central city has steadily been losing population since 1970 — just like every other city. We’ve got to stop drinking the Kool-Aid, stop having a reflexive defense of the status quo — just because we’re used to it, and open our eyes to what is going on around us.

    #473229
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    NDaEast said:
    We’ve got to stop drinking the Kool-Aid, stop having a reflexive defense of the status quo — just because we’re used to it, and open our eyes to what is going on around us.

    On the other hand, something isn’t better just because it’s different.

    You note the competition between local and county governments. Would moving to a ward system make that competition more intense by adding competition within local government?

    Can’t say it will, but I can’t dismiss it as a possibility.

    #473230
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    NDaEast said:
    Someone else can, and that would make good sense. But the question we put on the table was for a change to Districts, for all the other benefits that Districts would bring — including a more “normal” government, rather than the extreme, archaic version of governance we have now.

    Our system of governance is so outdated that our Charter has an unlawful provision in it that requires for a citizens’ amendment to have 10% of the entire electorate (around 49,000 valid signatures), rather than the law since 1986 of 10% of the people who voted in the last general election. 10% of the electorate is basically an unreachable number … it would require about as many people to sign an initiative petition to simply put an issue on the ballot, as the number of people who voted for Mayor Coleman in the last election. Our charter is a distinctly elitist document designed to be kept out of the hands of the citizens, and change needs to start there.

    Does the ward system proposal also change the city charter’s provision about the citizens’ amendment requirements that you mentioned?

    #473231

    gramarye
    Participant

    NDaEast said:
    Please re-read the comments from Roberta Garber (above) about the fact that Columbus’s central city has steadily been losing population since 1970 — just like every other city. We’ve got to stop drinking the Kool-Aid, stop having a reflexive defense of the status quo — just because we’re used to it, and open our eyes to what is going on around us.

    This doesn’t do much to help your case. If “every other city” is also declining, and most other cities already have wards or districts, then it appears that neither district-based nor at-large-based councils have advantages over the other. Factors other than governance structures trump governance structures in terms of fostering growth or decline.

    Now if the majority of cities with district-based councils were growing and the majority of cities with at-large-based councils were shrinking, that would be persuasive evidence, even if it was just a correlation. But if it makes no difference, then both sides can rant about it but neither side can really blame the other or claim any superiority based on that fact.

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 147 total)

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