SECTION 3

Filed under: — tkm June 27, 2006 @ 11:0 am

new 7-24-06

The following two links below are letters written by the CCG, one requesting an update by Council as it pertains to placing Section 3 of the City Charter on the November 2006 ballot, changes the term of office for council members from 4 years to 2 years, and the second link provides a CCG Press Release.

CLICK: 7-24-06 CCG request for information from Council

CLICK: 7-24-06 Press Release

posted by tkm 7-24-06
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CHILLICOTHE, OHIO–2 YEAR TERM

Concerned Citizens President Rich Noel, Vice President Bob Forrey, and former Sentinel editor Austin Leedom traveled to Chillicothe on July 6, 2006, to view the workings of the Chillicothe city government. They met with city officials, including Mayor Joe Sulzer and Auditor Bill Morrissey, and they were impressed with the openness and efficiency of the city government. In the confident and constructive way in which the city deals with economic and social problems, Chillicothe could serve as a model for other Ohio towns of its size (pop. 25,000).

The Chillicothe City Council is one of the reasons the city government works well. Mayor Sulzer commended in particular the leadership role of the president of Chillicothe City Council. The Portsmouth delegation could not help contrasting the constructive role of the president of Chillicothe’s City Council with the divisive role of Portsmouth’s president of City Council, Howard Baughman, who has predicted chaos if the Portsmouth’s City Council returns to two-year terms, as the Concerned Citizens are recommending. There were no signs of chaos in the Chillicothe government as a result of the two-year terms served by the Chillicothe City Council. Nor has the Chillicothe president of the Chillicothe City Council been charged with violating election laws, as Baughman has.

The example of Chillicothe suggests that honest and efficient government is not incompatible with two-year terms for city council members but rather may be one of the reasons Chillicothe’s government is as honest and efficient as it is.

posted by tkm 7-7-06
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CHARTER CHANGE–Section 3

In May 2006 the Council placed on the ballot two Charter changes that would have restricted the recall process, but the voters soundly rejected those changes.

At the June 26th Portsmouth City Council meeting, Rich Noel, President of the Concerned Citizens Group of Portsmouth and Scioto County, presented a letter requesting legislation be prepared to place on the November 2006 ballot to return the term of council members to a two-year term. The change from a two-year to a four-year term, which was made in 1985, has not worked. Voters have had to resort to the recall process to remove unpopular council members. Elections every two years would make recalls much less likely, except in extraordinary cases.

Council should draft an ordinance and vote on legislation to place on the ballot in November 2006 the following charter change, a change that would provide a more stable political environment but yet not hinder the rights of the citizens to remove from office someone who is not doing the job they were elected to perform:

Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, all legislative powers of the City shall be vested in a Council and consisting of one member nominated and elected from each ward in said City. The terms of the members of Council shall be for two years. In Wards 1, 3 and 5, the present term will expire on the last day of December 2008 and begin on the first Monday in January 2009; in Wards 2, 4 and 6, the terms of the council members will begin on the first Monday in January 2008.

posted by tkm 7-1-06
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If Council truly believed in their reasoning behind changing the Charter in the May 2006 Election, concerning the Recall Section of the Charter, they will support and place on the November 2006 ballot the following change to Section 3 submitted by the CCGPSC President at the Regular Council Meeting of 6-26-06.

CLICK:  Letter submitted by CCGPSC to Council

posted by tkm 6-27-06
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Below is the article that appeared in the PDT the day after the Regular Council Meeting:

Group wants two-year Council terms

By JEFF BARRON
PDT Staff Writer
Monday, June 26, 2006 10:42 PM EDT

To cut down on city recalls, Concerned Citizens Group of Portsmouth President Richard Noel said Portsmouth City Council members should serve two-year terms instead of four-year terms.

At Monday’s Council meeting, he asked the Council to pass an ordinance to put the issue on the November ballot.

“The Council would benefit from this, as well as the citizens,” Noel said. “If we would get a bad apple on Council, two years is all we’d have to put up with him. Now it’s four years.”

City Council President Howard Baughman was against reducing council member terms.

“There’s a learning curve when you become a city councilman,” he said. “I don’t think it’s any problem having a four-year term and stand election every four years. It would just be constant turmoil and turnover every two years.”

Noel said that state representatives serve two-year terms, but Baughman still disagreed with the idea.

“Just look at our history here,” Baughman said. “I just think that splitting it apart and electing three wards every two years is adequate.”

Should City Council not pass an ordinance to place if before voters, residents could have the issue put on the ballot as a referendum. Noel said his group will give City Council a reasonable amount of time to pass the ordinance.

“And if they don’t, we’re going to act on our own,” he said.

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