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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 - 106 through 120 (of 147 total)
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  • #473277

    cheap
    Member

    they only tried to gather signatures downtown?

    they needed to get into the neighborhoods

    #473278
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    rus said:
    Um.

    How does “City Council To Take Action On Citizen Initiated Charter Amendment” match up with “City Council ward petition fails”?

    From the Dispatch article:

    Tonight, city council members are expected to vote against placing the charter change on the ballot in November. Had the group collected enough signatures, the council would have been required to approve the issue for the ballot.

    #473279
    hugh59
    hugh59
    Participant

    Walker said:
    From the Dispatch article:

    Tonight, city council members are expected to vote against placing the charter change on the ballot in November. Had the group collected enough signatures, the council would have been required to approve the issue for the ballot.

    Sigh.

    I recently had to do some volunteer work with the City Government and the City Council. I found the council to be respectful and attentive. The mayor and his department heads were not nearly as respectful.

    However, I recognize the problem we have with the current system. Because the existing council members are selecting the people to fill vacancies, there is a risk that they will all be like minded and at risk for seeing all problems in the same way. Sometimes you need a difference of opinion and genuine disagreement in order to have a chance at getting to the truth and finding good answers.

    One thing to keep in mind, people are intelligent and they adapt to situations. No matter how effectively we craft a system of government, eventually people find a way to manipulate the system to their own advantage. Any solution you apply today will eventually have to be modified in the future because someone will find a way to manipulate it to their advantage.

    Since the ward representation proposal has fallen, perhaps we should look at a more focused solution to the problem with city council and its method of filling vacancies. Perhaps we need a ballot initiative putting restrictions on how vacancies on the council are to be filled.

    #473280

    cheap
    Member

    just vote the mf’ers out.

    #473281
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    hugh59 said:
    Since the ward representation proposal has fallen, perhaps we should look at a more focused solution to the problem with city council and its method of filling vacancies. Perhaps we need a ballot initiative putting restrictions on how vacancies on the council are to be filled.

    Just curious… what would a new vacancy replacement system look like to you?

    I’ve heard this brought up many times as an existing problem, but I don’t know if I’ve heard anyone present a solution yet.

    #473282

    NDaEast
    Participant

    Walker said:
    Just curious… what would a new vacancy replacement system look like to you?

    I’ve heard this brought up many times as an existing problem, but I don’t know if I’ve heard anyone present a solution yet.

    A proposal will be forthcoming from the Columbus Coalition for Responsive Government. The only thing that has happened to date is that the BOE says we didn’t get the number of signatures needed to force a public vote. We have many concerns about the BOE’s conduct and conclusion, and will be pursuing them over the next several days. Concerns range from incorrectly using the higher (10%) signature standard for Charter Amendments found at Section 234 of the Charter, rather than for the lower (5%) Initiative that we filed under Secteion 41 of the Charter, separating out petitions based on a standard that applies only to statewide initiatives, and providing varying representations of the number of signatures needed ranging from 9,600 to 49,000, before settling at 19,000 once signatures were turned in. However, Council can still act to put charter change on the ballot with no signatures — as it has done 69 times since the charter was enacted. WE encourage people interested in the opportunity for the public to vote on this issue to call council and tell them we want the right to vote, and that council should not deny citizens access to the ballot (particularly when more than 28,000 people have indicated they want to vote on this issue in November).

    The Coalition is preparing a revised proposed appointment structure based on what we have heard in the neighborhoods — and based on feedback we get on this board from commenters like NEOhio, who say we didn’t go far enough with reform. While we previously maintained Council as the appointer for vacant seats, our new proposal being drafted will allow neighborhood area commissions to have the first opportunity to select a person to represent their district(s). This further strengthens the decentralization of power that was at the heart of a District model. Details coming … but we are not done with this issue yet. If you believe in Council districts, let everybody know:

    Andrew Ginther, Phone : (614) 645-2931
    Herschel Craig, Phone : (614) 645-7379
    Zach Klein, Phone : 645-5346
    Troy Miller, Phone : 645-2013
    Michelle Mills, Phone : (614) 645-5344
    Eileen Paley, Phone : 645-2010
    Priscilla Tyson, Phone : (614) 645-2933

    (Feel free to keep calling until somebody returns your phone call. The Coalition has been calling for six months and hasn’t gotten a return phone call from anybody but Councilman Miller … good luck!)

    #473283

    NDaEast
    Participant

    cheap said:
    they only tried to gather signatures downtown?

    they needed to get into the neighborhoods

    Nope … Dispatch mistake … we’ve been out in neighborhoods, door-to-door, at festivals, etc. It is just a hard thing to do as citizen volunteers and without funding, which is why Charter amendments have never previously been amended by citizen initiative in the 69 times the chater has been amended since 1914, but by an act of council voting a 2/3rds majority to put a Charter Amendment on the ballot. Think about this: 28,000+ signatures of people who say they are registered to vote, but apparently only 9,000 really are registered at the same address they sign on the petition. 100,000 people purged from the voting rolls last year in Franklin County … but Herschel Craig is registered to vote at two addresses (true fact — we looked it up).

    #473284

    lakeerietransplant
    Participant

    Special elections make sense when it comes to filling vacant seats. Let the people choose who they want on CC.

    #473285

    NEOBuckeye
    Participant

    Sometimes, it just comes down to timing.

    Take Cleveland/Cuyahoga County. Government there was corrupt, unresponsive, and ineffectual for years. But it took massive political fallout and public outcry stemming from the now infamous scandal encompassing County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora for people there to get onboard with a plan to finally throw out the ancient County Commissioner system in favor of a County Charter system of government with a County Executive and 11-member County Council.

    Although I don’t see any similar scandals brewing in Columbus/Franklin County, other, actual windows for change may sooner or later emerge.

    Here’s a few questions: Has anyone seriously looked into a similar adaptation of a county charter government for Franklin County? What about an official city-county merger like what Indianapolis, Louisville, or Miami have? Would either even make sense at this point given Columbus’ multi-county reach in Central Ohio, with suburbs like Dublin and Westerville also straddling two or more counties?

    #473286

    lakeerietransplant
    Participant

    NEOBuckeye said:
    Sometimes, it just comes down to timing.

    Take Cleveland/Cuyahoga County. Government there was corrupt, unresponsive, and ineffectual for years. But it took massive political fallout and public outcry stemming from the now infamous scandal encompassing County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora for people there to get onboard with a plan to finally throw out the ancient County Commissioner system in favor of a County Charter system of government with a County Executive and 11-member County Council.

    Although I don’t see any similar scandals brewing in Columbus/Franklin County, other, actual windows for change may sooner or later emerge.

    Here’s a few questions: Has anyone seriously looked into a similar adaptation of a county charter government for Franklin County? What about an official city-county merger like what Indianapolis, Louisville, or Miami have? Would either even make sense at this point given Columbus’ multi-county reach in Central Ohio, with suburbs like Dublin and Westerville also straddling two or more counties?

    Interesting, but me thinks that Dublin, New Albany, and Westerville would raise holy hell if their tax dollars went to the whole county.

    #473287
    hugh59
    hugh59
    Participant

    Walker said:
    Just curious… what would a new vacancy replacement system look like to you?

    I’ve heard this brought up many times as an existing problem, but I don’t know if I’ve heard anyone present a solution yet.

    Oy, all I will do is demonstrate my ignorance. But, ignorance is bliss, so here goes.

    One possibility would be to have the position remain vacant until an election is held. We have general elections every just about every November (maybe every November, I would need to do some research on this). The replacement would serve out the rest of the original term of the retired member.

    You could also have a special election within so many days of the vacancy occurring (oy, that would be expensive). Or, a special election could occur at the next regularly scheduled city wide or count wide election (general or primary). There would still be a tremendous advantage for any candidate “blessed” by the council, but it would at least allow for some challenge.

    #473288

    NDaEast
    Participant

    hugh59 said:
    Oy, all I will do is demonstrate my ignorance. But, ignorance is bliss, so here goes.

    AS you relate, there are no perfect solutions to the problem of mid-term appointments that routinely put unvoted people in office (i.e., every one of the current 7 council members, and all but 3 of the council members in office over the last 28 years) — some of the issues typically raised (municipal elections are in odd years only, everything else is a special election for the city) are that special elections are expensive, holding seats open makes business harder to conduct (quoroms and numbers needed to pass emergency legislation, etc.), and constituents won’t be adequately represented if seats are open (as if they are now).

    There is widespread concern about the abuse of the appointment process for mid-term vacancies. As we revise our proposal to deal with the fact that the seamless transition that could have happened b/c of the timing of elections and terms if this hit the 2011 ballot, we are considering handling the incestuous nature of the appointments by looking at a mechanism that allows the city codified Neighborhood Area Commissions the first shot at screening and advancing a District-based chosen nominee to council for confirmation.

    In this way, the principle that voters of a district determine their representative is supported, and the nominee is appropriately beholden to the neighborhood — not to fellow council members who now make the selection, screening and appointments — which would reduce the “inside game” now apparent in Council. It would ensure the nominee had at least a base of support from within the District, and was not somebody plopped in from above.

    The other reform we are considering that would have an impact on appointments, is to enact term limits of 8 years, and to stipulate that an incumbent can not run for a new term if that term would include his/her 9th year of consecutive service. This would mean if you get a mid-term appointment, you would be eligible for only one elected term, and would discourage any gaming that might be going on where incumbents routinely resign before the end of their term allowing the party to make an appointment without an election creating a candidate who can run forever more as an incumbent.

    Comments?

    #473289

    NDaEast
    Participant

    NEOBuckeye said:
    Sometimes, it just comes down to timing.

    Although I don’t see any similar scandals brewing in Columbus/Franklin County, other, actual windows for change may sooner or later emerge.

    Here’s a few questions: Has anyone seriously looked into a similar adaptation of a county charter government for Franklin County? What about an official city-county merger like what Indianapolis, Louisville, or Miami have? Would either even make sense at this point given Columbus’ multi-county reach in Central Ohio, with suburbs like Dublin and Westerville also straddling two or more counties?

    I’m never one to root for a scandal — it would be ideal to not have to be so concerned about your government that you spend precious time trying to fix it. The closest we have to a scandal at this point is the unconscionable Nationwide Arena bailout, which occured without a vote of the public (despite the fact that publicly-funded arenas were voted down 5 times previously) and indeed without a single public hearing.

    People can agree or disagree with the arena bailout (I personally support publicly-funded arenas, though I disagree vehemently with how it was done here) … but the fact that council held no public hearings is really the most visible marker of the democratic corruption of a system that knows it is completely unaccountable to the electorate.

    According to Mayor Coleman (during the press conference appointing the new fire chief), Columbus is now facing a $30M deficit for 2013 — yet we had enough disposable dollars to bailout a company (from the consequences of their private business decision) whose annual PROFITS are more than the City’s entire annual operating budget?!? And we don’t get the parking revenues that typically come with stadium ownership.

    City/County consolidation makes a lot of sense at so many levels for so many reasons of efficiency. Some would argue that it takes away the higher level of services that suburbs market, drains wealthier communities of tax dollars, and has the potential to change the quality of life that different municipalities (or even townships) offer. If a simple proposal to change council in one city generates so much opposition from those in power, I can’t imagine how it would be possible for several local communities to merge!

    #473290
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    hugh59 said:
    Oy, all I will do is demonstrate my ignorance. But, ignorance is bliss, so here goes.

    One possibility would be to have the position remain vacant until an election is held. We have general elections every just about every November (maybe every November, I would need to do some research on this). The replacement would serve out the rest of the original term of the retired member.

    You could also have a special election within so many days of the vacancy occurring (oy, that would be expensive). Or, a special election could occur at the next regularly scheduled city wide or count wide election (general or primary). There would still be a tremendous advantage for any candidate “blessed” by the council, but it would at least allow for some challenge.

    Cool. Thanks for making a suggestion. I think vacant seats until general elections makes a lot of sense. I imagine there would be less mid-term resignation if that were the case.

    #473291
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    NDaEast said:
    Comments?

    Just that the mid-term appointment process seems like a completely separate issue from the ward/district issue. The messages are getting somewhat blurred here.

Viewing 15 posts - 106 through 120 (of 147 total)

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