Proposed Charter Section Summaries

 Members of the Charter Commission have endeavoured to break down the critical sections of the proposed charter into easy to digest summaries.  If you would like to read the complete charter  click here to download in PDF format.

Article III. COUNCIL summary by Pam Park-Curry

Q: Does the Charter change the powers council has?
A: The Charter keeps legislative power with council just as it is now. There are eight powers listed in the Charter, these are the same powers council has now. In summary, these powers have been and will continue to be done through ordinance or resolution. Section 3.01 specifies the powers of council.

Q: How many council members will we have under the Charter?
A: The Charter increases the number of council members by one. Instead of six council members, there will be seven council members. This odd number was done to avoid ties when all members of council are present and all decide to vote on an issue. Section 3.02 covers the composition of council.

Q: Is the Mayor part of council meetings and does the Mayor run the council meetings?
A: The Charter changes the role of Mayor at council meetings. The Mayor may attend council meetings but according to the Charter the Mayor does not have an official seat on council. Under the Charter section concerning the Mayor, the Mayor no longer has the power to vote to break ties.

Q: Are council members still elected for four years?
A: Yes council members are still elected for four years and terms are overlapping with four members elected at one municipal election and then three (instead of two) members are elected at the next municipal election. As it is now, terms of office begin on January 1 of the year immediately following their election. This is covered in Section 3.02.

Q: Are the qualifications to be a council member changed?
A: Yes, instead of needing to reside in the Village for at least one year immediately preceding their election, the Charter states that candidates for council shall have been qualified electors of the Village for six months prior to the time they file for office. Section 3.03 covers qualifications for council.

Q: Will council still write their Rules of Council?
A: Yes, that does not change. Council will still write and adopt its own rules, and the Charter specifically states that council can determine the number, composition and manner of appointment of committees of council. Section 3.04 cover organization and rules.

Q: Will council still choose its own President of Council?
A: Yes, council will still choose by vote the President of Council who will also serve as President pro tempore which means that person will serve as the Mayor during the temporary absence or disability of the Mayor. In addition, the Charter now has the council choose by vote a Vice President Pro tempore who would serve as President of Council and President pro tempore in the absence of the President of Council. Section 3.05 cover this.

Q: Clerk of Council – why is that listed under the council section of the Charter?
A: The Charter gives council the ability to appoint the person to serve in the position of Clerk of Council. The clerk duties are currently done by the Fiscal Officer as defined in our ordinances. Since these duties are part-time duties they can be part of another office or position. Under the Charter, council has the ability to require the Clerk of council to serve as the secretary of other boards and commissions. The person serving as Clerk of Council can also hold other office or position of employment in the Village. Section 3.06 covers the Clerk of Council.

Q: Can a council member still resign?
A: Yes, there is no change there. It does require a written resignation that goes to the President of Council rather than the Mayor. Section 3.07 covers resignation.

Q: Can a council member be asked to forfeit the positon of council member?
A: Yes and there are few changes there. The Charter specifically states that the office of a member of council may be forfeited upon a determination that the member has failed to attend three consecutive regular council meeting without being excused by council. It is council that excuses the member not the Mayor. Council is also the sole judge of the grounds constituting forfeiture of office, oversees the notice and public hearing, and makes the final determination. Section 3.07 covers forfeiture.

Q: How are council vacancies handled?
A: The Charter gives council longer to fill vacancies. Ohio Revised Code only gives village council 30 days to fill a vacancy. The Charter gives council 60 days to fill a vacancy by a majority vote of the remaining council members. Another difference is that the Charter will give the voters a chance to vote on the successor depending on when the vacancy happened. Under the Charter, if the resignation happens in the first half of the term (before July 1 of the second year), the person appointed would serve only until a successor is elected at the next regular municipal election. That person can choose to run for the office AND the voters can choose who fills the vacancy. Section 3.08 covers vacancies.

Q: Any change in the frequency of regular council meetings?
A: No changes there. Council still has the ability to determine, by majority vote of the members (and included in the Rules of Council) the frequency, dates and times of regular meetings as long as they have one regular meeting each month in at least eleven months of the year. Ohio Sunshine Laws still apply to publication of meeting notices. Section 3.09 covers regular and special meetings.

Q: What about special meetings of council?
A: Special meetings can still be called for by the Mayor or any four members of council as long as 24 hour notice is given to members. That notice can be served personally left at the usual place of residence or by electronic notification (which would include but not limited to text or email.) Ohio Sunshine Laws still apply and public notification is still required.
The Charter does allow for emergency special meetings of council. In this case the Mayor or four members determine in writing that an emergency exists that truly affects the health, safety, or welfare of the Village. In the case of a true emergency, the 24 hour notice does not apply. If notice is dispensed with, the council must issue a public statement posted in accordance with council rules no later than 24 hours after that meeting explaining in detail the emergency and the need for dispensing with notice.

Q: Any change in salaries for elected officials?
A: Council still establishes salaries, does so through ordinance and resolution, and only on council election years. Salaries so established shall not be changed to be effective during the current term of office. Ordinances and resolution affecting the salary of elected officials shall become effective on the first day of January the year after the ordinance or resolution is passed. Section 3.10 covers salaries of elected officials.

Article V. Mayor summary by Eddie Bell

Article 5 of the Minerva Park Charter outlines the requirements and duties of the Mayor. This article also outlines what happens if the mayor leaves or must be removed from office. The Charter Commission feels that the mayor is considered a “weak” Mayor because many responsibilities have been designated to the Village Administrator and Council. The charter commission decided it would be best to give the Mayor veto power to ensure a balance in power with Council. The veto can be overridden by Council, but it requires a super-majority. The Charter Commission felt it was important to not to define if the mayor was full time or part time, as this could change over time with the needs of the village. We decided it was more important to decide the Mayor’s responsibilities. Also, the Charter Commission decided not to set the Mayor’s salary. With the current needs of the village, the Charter Commission expects that the mayor will be a part-time mayor.

Who is eligible to run for Mayor?

Anyone interested in becoming the Mayor of Minerva Park must be a qualified elector of the Village for at least 6 months prior to filing the petition to run for office. This means they must be a US Citizen who has lived in the Village for at least 6 months before they file the paperwork to run for office. The Mayor must maintain these qualifications throughout their term in office. Once elected, the Mayor cannot hold a public office or employment with the Village or any other governmental entity that would cause a conflict of interest with the Village.

How is the Mayor elected?
The Mayor is elected on a non-partisan ballot by popular vote. This means that the person with the most votes wins. The Mayor cannot run as a Democrat, Republican, or with any other political party.

How long can the Mayor stay in office?
The Mayor will be elected to a four-year term. After four years, the Mayor must run for election again. There is no term limit for the number of times a person can run for Mayor.

Will the Mayor be a full-time position?
The charter simply states that the Mayor position does not need to be a full-time position. This leaves the possibility open to a full time or part time Mayor to best fit the needs of the Village.

How much money will the Mayor make?
The charter does not specify the Mayor’s salary. The salary is to be set by Council.

What happens if the Mayor leaves office?
If the Mayor were to ever leave office, the President Pro Tempore (the President of council) has the option of filling the Mayor position. If the President Pro Tempore chooses not to become Mayor, Council will elect a qualified person to become Mayor. The President Pro Tempore will serve as Mayor until December 31 following the next regular municipal election.
If the Mayor has more than two years left on their term, but less than fifty days remain until the next municipal election, the Mayor will serve until the following municipal election.

How can the Mayor be removed from office?
A Mayor can be removed from office by Council if any of the following take place:

The Mayor pled to or is convicted of a felony while in office
The Mayor pled to or is convicted of any crime involving dereliction of duties or breach of public trust while in office.
Lacks, or is found to have lacked any of the eligibility requirements for the office of Mayor as outlined in the Charter.
Holds office or employment at a government entity that creates a conflict of interest for the Village.

What are the Mayor’s responsibilities?
The Mayor is the official and ceremonial head of the Village. The Mayor can perform marriages, act as the primary liaison between the Village and all other government entities. The Mayor is the Village’s spokesperson. The Mayor will act as the direct supervisor of the Village Administrator. The Mayor will also be responsible to run and manage the Mayor’s Court. The Mayor has veto power and can override any ordinance or resolution from Council.

Can the Mayor’s veto be overridden?
Yes, Council can override the Mayor’s veto with a super-majority vote. Five out of seven council members must vote to override the Mayor’s Veto.

Can the Mayor be recalled?
Yes, all public officials can be recalled. This is covered in Article 10.

Article VI. ADMINISTRATOR summary by Nina Lewis

1. Article introduces and describes in detail the new role being proposed to Minerva Park Village
(MPV) as a result of the form of governance that the Charter Commission selected after a
thorough process of research, public and leadership input and evaluation of all five (5)
governance options;
2. Article content is to inform and educate MPV citizens and leadership about the role,
responsibilities of the MP Administrator, as well as the process and guidance for how the
person is to be selected, managed and replaced;
3. Article included as one of the essential elements that needs to be described for the form of
government that the Charter Commission selected to be understood by MPV citizens and how
the relationships among the mayor, council and the administrator will work together to lead our
Village with integrity, competence and timeliness;
4. The Village Administrator is responsible to Mayor for the proper administration of all affairs of
MPV; MPV Administrator to have the power and be required to:
o Hire, appoint, and remove all employees of MPV;
o Prepare budget estimates annually, submit to Council, administer appropriations
adopted by Council;
o Prepare and submit to Council and to public annually, not later than February 15, a
complete report of finances and administrative activities of MPV for the preceding year;
o Keep Council informed of the current financial condition and future needs of MPV;
o Delegate to subordinate MPV employees any duties conferred upon the Village
Administrator by this Charter or by Council action, and hold them responsible for their
faithful discharges;
o See that the laws and ordinances are enforced; and
o Perform other duties, not inconsistent with this Charter, as may be required by Council,
the Mayor, or the Ohio Revised Code.
o Execute on behalf of MPV all contracts, leases, deeds, easements, conveyances, and
agreements;
5. Mayor hires the administrator with the majority of village council; Administrator’s term to be no
longer than 2 years and the process is to renew the contract;
6. Mayor and village council members are not eligible to be hired as the administrator during the
term for which the term for which they were elected;
7. Administrator to be considered based upon executive and administrative qualifications in the
area of public management; role is to be chief administrative official of MPV;

Article VII. ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENTS summary by Dick Busick

This section requires the establishment of three (3) departments, a Department of Law, a Department of Finance, and a Department of Engineering and provides for the establishment of any other departments deemed necessary by the Village Council. Note that each established department requires a director, and this section defines the high-level professional requirements and responsibilities of these directors and requires that the Village Administrator create and maintain an Administrative Code which further details the duties of those departments. Section 7 requires that the hiring of the department directors be based on merit and fitness demonstrated through a competitive selection process.

The 3 required departments mirror the present organizational structure within the Village of Minerva Park and were deemed essential for the proper functioning of the Village. Since each created department must have a director who may or may not be paid, the decision to create additional departments was left to Village Council. Note that Section 7.03 – Department Directors contains the following text: “With the consent of Council, the Village Administrator may serve as the director of one or more departments or may appoint one person as the director of two or more departments.”. Thus additional departments created by council need not result in additional Village expense. The requirements that hiring be based on merit and fitness were considered to be essential for providing a fully qualified director and the creation and maintenance of the Administrative Code helped define the mission and proper functioning of the departments.

Article X. ELECTIONS, INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, AND RECALL summary by Sid Townsend

ELECTED OFFICIALS
Nominations for the elected offices of the Village are made by official petition, signed by not less than
fifteen (15) nor more than seventy-five (75) electors of the village and filed with the election officials of
the State of Ohio.
ELECTIONS
Regular municipal elections are held on the dates and times as prescribe by the law of the State of Ohio.
Council may, at any time, by legislation, order a special election on any date. Council can appropriate
and expend public funds to pay the cost of providing information to the public in connection with tax,
bond, and other non-partisan public issues.
RECALL
The electors have the power to remove from office, by a recall election, any elected official of the Village
who has served at least six (6) months of a term of office. The procedure is:
1. A written notice, is filed with the Clerk of Council, stating the specific grounds for removal of
The official.
2. Petition signatures are collected. The total numbers of signatures should
represent at least fifteen percent (15%) of the electors voting at the last preceding
regular municipal election.
3. The Clerk of Council and Board of Franklin County Elections will examine the petition for
Compliance.
4. If the petition is non-compliant, it may be amended. If it still does not comply, it will be
rejected.
5. If the petition is accepted, Council will assign a date for a recall election during either a
general, primary, or special election.

Article XII. TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS summary by Brian Wolf

In the transition from a Statutory Village to a Chartered Village there are many important dates
November 5, 2019 – Election Day
Shortly after November 5, 2019 – The Charter shall take effect from the
date the final result of the election is certified by the election authorities for the purpose
of designating, nominating and electing officers of the Village of Minerva Park and
conducting municipal elections.
January 1, 2020 – All other provision of the Charter are in effect.
July 30. 2020 – Council will need to establish a salary apropriate for the Mayor with the responsibilities as set forth in the charter.
August 5, 2020 – Filing deadline for Mayoral candidates for a term ending December 31, 2023
November 2020
Mayoral Election