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Mayor, Council President Announce Formation of Charter Review Commission

For Immediate Release
April 2, 2014
For More Information:
John Ivanic, City Council, 645-6798
Dan Williamson, Mayor’s Office, 645-5300

Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman and City Council President Andrew J. Ginther today announced the creation of a Charter Review Commission. The panel of highly regarded civic leaders has been charged with reviewing the Columbus City Charter and making recommendations for potential revisions. 

“The City Charter serves as the constitution for Columbus,” said Mayor Coleman. “It is in the best interest of all residents for the Charter Review Commission to study the operation of city government and help find ways to improve our service to the community.”

The Charter Review Commission will be co-chaired by State Representative Michael F. Curtin and Columbus attorney Marchelle E. Moore, Vice President of Legal & Government Affairs and General Counsel for the Central Ohio Transit Authority. The Commission also includes Jeff Cabot, Executive Director of Kids Voting Central Ohio; Dawn Tyler Lee, Senior Vice President of Community Impact for United Way of Central Ohio; and Columbus City Auditor Hugh J. Dorrian.

“I’m grateful to our co-chairs for volunteering their time and expertise to lead the Charter Review Commission,” said Council President Ginther. “They and their fellow commission members are undertaking important work that will have a positive impact on city government for years to come.”

The Charter review will be comprehensive and open to the public, culminating in recommendations to the Mayor and Council that may include specific amendment language; suggestions to improve, clarify or modernize the Charter; or recommendations to further research sections that require additional consideration or deliberation. Any recommendations made by the Charter Review Commission to amend the Charter will require a vote of Council and the approval of Columbus voters.  

“I am honored to serve on the Charter Review Commission, as I currently serve in a similar capacity in the Ohio General Assembly through my work on the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission,” said Co-chair Michael Curtin. “It is important that we periodically assess our systems of government to ensure that they are serving the public effectively.”

The Columbus City Charter, originally adopted by voters in 1914, outlines the fundamental rights, powers and responsibilities of the citizens and their elected municipal officials. The Columbus City Charter was last amended in 2010, 1999 and 1998. In each of these instances, revisions to the Charter were limited to specific sections. 

“Our Charter should be a living document, evolving with the needs and expectations of the citizenry it serves,” said Co-chair Marchelle Moore. “The Commission will develop recommendations that will help ensure that this 100-year-old document meets the needs of our modern, vibrant city.”

The Charter Review Commission expects to begin holding public meetings in April and to continue to meet through the spring and into the summer. There is no specific deadline for recommendations to the Mayor and Council. Meetings will be recorded for rebroadcast by CTV, Columbus’ government television channel on local cable systems.