Minor changes proposed for Groveport City Charter

By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

The proposed amendments to the Groveport City Charter are not dramatic changes.
Groveport City Council approved sending the proposed charter amendments to the Franklin County Board of Elections to be placed on the Nov. 3 ballot for the city’s voters consideration.

The proposed amendments are procedural in nature. One amendment is a housekeeping measure that merely revises the name of “recreation and parks” to “recreation parks and facilities management” under Article 6 in the charter that discusses the city administrator’s powers and duties.

The other amendment clarifies that the issuance of bonds and notes, as well as federal and state grants and loans, are to be considered as appropriations under the charter’s Article 3 that outlines city council’s approval of expenditures.

Previously these items were not considered as direct appropriations. According to Groveport Law Director Kevin Shannon, once these items are considered as appropriations they can take effect immediately rather than in 30 days after council approval.

“Previously, with respect to legislation authorizing the issuance of municipal bonds and/or notes or the acceptance of federal or state loans and/or grants, the city’s bond counsel was of the opinion that such enactments were not appropriation measures as defined in the city charter,” said Shannon. “The proposed charter amendments will allow such legislation to be deemed as appropriation measures, and therefore, they become effective immediately upon their passage by council which will streamline our current legislative process for such enactments.”

According to Shannon, the proposed amendments were sent to the Franklin County Board of Elections to be placed on the ballot for the general election on Nov. 3.

“If favorably voted upon by the city’s electorate, they would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021,” said Shannon.

Shannon said these proposed charter amendments are the only ones put forth by the Charter Review Commission.

The Charter Review Commission began its work this year on March 3 and finished up June 16. The citizen members of the commission were Luke Watkins (chairman), Wayne White, Cheryl Ballou, Heidi Christensen, and Kelly Sisco.

The city charter of Groveport, which was adopted in 1990 and became effective in 1991, states that every 10 years city council will appoint a Charter Review Commission made up of five community members. The Charter Review Commission studies and reviews the city charter and makes recommendations it deems necessary to council for amendments to the charter. Council then considers placing the amendments on the ballot for the city voters to decide on whether or not the amendments should be adopted.

Shannon said the next Charter Review Commission will convene in 2030, unless council wishes it to convene earlier to review particular provisions of the city charter.

Shannon added that citizens also have the right to seek an amendment to the charter by way of an initiative petition as set forth in the city charter.

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