Are you interested in shaping the future of Commercial Point?
Village Council has approved developing a charter for the Village of Commercial Point, and we need residents to be involved. Read on for more information! Notice: Charter Informational Meeting December 12!
What is a charter?
A charter serves as a local constitution. Through a charter, citizens can establish their municipality’s framework for local government as well as define a range of local powers such as those related to bidding and purchasing, staffing, and more.
What does Commercial Point have now?
We are a non-chartered village, which means we are subject to the general statutes established by state law. While we have some home rule authority (which allows us some leeway on certain “substantive” local matters), we are limited in many ways by the laws set by the Ohio Legislature.
How does the charter process work?
There are a number of steps to get started:
First, the full Council voted to put the question of forming a charter commission in the hands of the electorate.
The question will appear on the ballot in March 2020, and voters will decide if they want to go forward with forming a charter commission.
The charter commission is comprised of 15 residents of the Village, who would run for seats on the commission. They would appear on the March 2020 ballot.
If the vote is in favor of forming a charter commission, then the group will begin meeting as soon as possible to get to work.
The commission will then begin drafting a charter for Commercial Point. It must be ready in time for voters to review the proposed charter and cast their votes in the November 2020 election, or if necessary, at a special election in March of 2021.
If the March 2020 vote is against forming a charter commission, the votes for the commission members will be disregarded and no commission will be formed. Commercial Point would remain a non- charter village governed by and operated under Ohio statutes.
What are the advantages of a charter?
Having a charter expands and solidifies a municipality’s local powers. It exemplifies grassroots democracy, as citizens at the local level decide how their local government works. A Charter is crafted to meet the current and future of the Village. It also more clearly defines roles and responsibilities of elected and appointed officials in the administration.
A charter also:
Empowers the community to define its government structure. In general, for villages without a charter, state law provides for a mayor plus a six-member council, with executive power vested in the mayor. There may be other elected or appointed positions (a fiscal officer, for example). With a charter, the voters decide the structure of government. The options are varied: elected council + elected mayor; hired manager + elected council; hired manager + elected mayor and council, and so on. Terms, appointments, powers, and duties can be established through the charter.
Enables the Village to establish its own procedures. The term “procedures” is quite broad. It can encompass bidding requirements, how the Village incurs debt, matters of taxation, the process for acquiring and disposing of equipment, and much more.
What are the disadvantages of a charter?
There’s always a risk in doing something that may look different, and some might argue, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” There is nothing wrong with the way the Village operates now.” Developing a charter though, is not about the Village today, but it is really all about the government the Village will need will need as it grows to becoming a city.
What rules will charter commission members follow?
All meetings of the charter commission are subject to Ohio’s Sunshine Laws and open meeting requirements. Elected commission members must follow legal requirements, including completing candidate nominating petitions and campaign finance reports. They will also take an oath of office. The process requires a one-year commitment from members.
What if something isn’t covered in the charter?
For matters not addressed specifically by the charter, state statute continues to apply. For example, if the charter commission decides not to include language about the bidding on big projects, then the Village will continue to follow the code in state law.
Where can I see examples of other charters?
Lots of Ohio municipalities have charters, and many of them are available through their websites. The Ohio City/County Management Association also has a link to a number of city and village charters: http://www.ocmaohio.org/2179/Charters
Want to be involved? Have questions? Come to the Informational meeting!
December 12, 2019, 7:00 PM at the Municipal Building
Questions now? Contact Ross Crego, Village Administrator at email@example.com
5th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
Mayor Joiner would like to invite you to join us for the Annual Christmas Tree lighting.
December 8th, 2019 6:00pm
Center of Town, across from the Post Office
Come and enjoy cookies, Carols from TV West Choir and a Very Special Guest!! Don’t foget to bring those letters to mail to the North Pole!
We also will hold our Hat, Scarf, Mittens & Glove drive at the Village Office and accept them the night of the tree lighting.