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Council OKs four charter changes for ballot

Published: Tue, July 31, 2012 @ 12:09 a.m.


By David Skolnick



Without a single comment by its members during Monday’s meeting, city council voted to place four of the 17 charter amendments proposed by a citizens committee on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Council voted 7-0 in support of proposals to create a conflict-of-interest policy, and to change the starting and ending dates of daylight saving time, which the city already follows.

Also, council agreed to one aspect of a two-part proposal from the charter-review committee to eliminate term limits for the mayor, but not to create the position of vice mayor.

The fourth item for voters to consider in November would be a language change on redistricting the city’s seven wards so they’d have similar populations. Council’s proposed charter amendment would permit redistricting after a “reasonable population change.”

The charter-review committee — consisting of 11 members selected by city council and Mayor Charles Sammarone — wanted redistricting maps to be finalized no later than 90 days after each decennial federal census.

The charter currently gives council the option of redistricting after each census. Redistricting hasn’t been done in more than 30 years.

Aug. 8 is the deadline to get charter amendments on the November ballot.

Council members had decided what proposals they supported at a July 16 meeting, and officially voted Monday in favor of them.

After the meeting, council members said other proposals from the charter-review committee could end up on the 2013 primary or general ballot, such as making it easier for recall votes.

Others could be adopted by council at a later date without going to voters for approval, including proposals to create and consolidate certain departments, and to change the starting time of council meetings.

“I’m not satisfied in total because we need to work on language for recall,” said Councilman T.J. Rodgers, D-2nd. “But we’ll discuss that issue” later, he said.

“I’m not going to put something on [the ballot] just to put something on,” said Councilman John R. Swierz, D-7th.

“The work’s not done,” said Councilman Mike Ray, D-4th. “We want to make changes that help” improve the charter.

Councilman Paul Drennen, D-5th, is the only member to support placing nearly all of the 17 proposals on the ballot. He wanted 15 of them to be in front of voters in November, “even though I disagreed with some of them.”

No one from the charter-review committee attended Monday’s council meeting.

Reached to comment by The Vindicator, Jerome Williams, chairman of the charter-review committee, said, “I don’t understand” why council didn’t vote to put all 17 proposals on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Among the committee’s proposal rejected by council are reducing their salaries, holding nonpartisan elections, eliminating council president as an elected position and having a charter-review committee meet annually.

“It’s truly disappointing,” said Phil Kidd, a committee member. “What citizens will be willing to go through what we did and at the end have council not permit voters to decide? It’s damaging to the process.”


1Southside_Res(172 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

To Kidd and Williams: You'll know better the next time you're called on to be a puppet, huh? And, for all the talk of a dwindling city population, why no serious consideration to basing the size of council on the city's population? Instead, the mayor and council are insistent on the status quo and just want to redraw district lines? Where is the efficiency in that? The mayor and council appear to be unconcerned about how much money they spend so long as we stay in the highest income tax bracket for municipalities in Ohio and there continues to be a million dollar surplus at the end of each fiscal year. Make no mistake, city politicians are going to look out for their best interests before looking out for the best interests of Youngstown's citizenry. Sound like a rehash of the same old stuff?

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2UticaShale(854 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

This dance has been going on for decades and we all see the results expand everyday, the City becomes more of a S%&t hole.

Funny, the latest generation who feel they can change things, as the other generations.....they are getting older.

They can cry all they want but fail to come up with a victory so we are left with Youngstown 2000, Youngstown 2010, The B&O. A on the River, Rossetta Stone and on and on and on......

They have no clue...............alas! the private sector marches in with fist full of oil money and their guns aimed at the dependent class, the change is upon us but not by the community organizers......the dollar, the great motivator.

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3gdog4766(1489 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Every union in the city has to come into negotiations firm. These council persons feel they are above everyone else. No wage and benefit concessions till they take the same. Cell phones, take home cars paid for travel all has to end.

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4One_Who_Stayed(237 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

If we do not remove them, we deserve what we get - bad government at great cost.

They have shown us in no uncertain terms that they will not budge from doing what is simply best for their own personal interests - the city and its residents be damned.

This system is broken and needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. First step - throw these self-serving bums out of office.

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5Westsider(222 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

I would support voting them all out - but who are their opponents? Additionally, the city only needs four wards - one for each side of town and a council member-at-large - no council president - and all should be term limited and paid at the same level as the board of education per regularly scheduled meeting.

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6Knightcap(697 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

The city only needs 3 wards, eastside, northside and westside. Let Boardman annex the southside. Crime in Youngstown will come down 90% and Chaney will get out of acedemic emergency or whatever they call it.

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