Canfield city won't have charter amendment on November ballot
By ROBERT CONNELLY
Resident Frank Micchia will not challenge city officials on not submitting his charter amendment.
The deadline for charter - amendment submissions in Mahoning County is 4 p.m. today.
City officials had raised legal issues with Micchia’s charter amendment, which sought to make the city- manager position a two-year elected term.
“At this point, I’m not going to challenge it. There’s not a whole lot I can do,” Micchia said. “I’m looking at trying to correct the alleged mistakes and take it from there.”
He further said, “I’m looking at alternatives so that it can be presented to the people again.”
Micchia collected 520 signatures for the city manager charter amendment. Mahoning County Board of Elections officials have said Micchia needed 252 signatures, which is 10 percent of the voter turnout in the 2013 general election.
“It would be most prudent for him to do it in that manner and follow the Ohio Revised Code,” said Joe Warino, current city manager.
Warino also said that over the past few weeks he hasn’t received calls or questions from residents on the proposed charter amendment. “I get the same thing that we heard from the income tax [vote in August], which is no one is interested in asking questions,” he said.
Canfield city attorney Mark Fortunato wrote a legal opinion for the city and city council that explained what he found issue with in Micchia’s submission. The main issue was that it doesn’t provide a title, which Fortunato has called “a fatal defect.”
Fortunato also said that if the charter amendment were to pass, there were six to seven other inconsistencies within the charter amendment.
Micchia sought to make the city manager an elected position, with two-year terms, no term limit, no requirement for residency in the city and that council would “fix the compensation” for the role.
Micchia, a frequent speaker at Canfield City Council meetings, wasn’t surprised that the city opposed another one of his initiatives. He spearheaded previous charter amendments that were approved by voters, such as term limits on city council.
“The city administration did not want to see it on the ballot, and they conjured up these illegal irregularities to keep it off the ballot,” Micchia said. “I don’t think it speaks well for the city founders because they are ignoring the 520 people that signed the petition to get this on the ballot.”