Charter Review Committee
The Charter Review Commission expresses their most sincere appreciation to the residents of Bexley. The regular Charter Review process depends heavily on community input. Many of you provided important and insightful perspectives on our work to update the City Charter! We are grateful for the added value and clarity your involvement provided.
Now that our review of the charter is complete, we are scheduling a meeting time to present our recommendations to City Council, and another meeting time to answer subsequent questions. The time and location of those meetings will be posted on this page as soon as they are available.
Please see the quick links on this page, to learn the finer details of our review and recommendations. We look forward to enjoying a better Bexley together!
Sam Mercellino III
Ed Meritt III
If you are unable to attend a meeting, you are still able to submit feedback to the committee. If you are interested in expressing your praises or concerns, please complete this form (link).
Goals and Mission
The Bexley Charter is the foundation upon which our city government is built and serves as our municipal Constitution.
It sets out the roles and powers of our elected officials and establishes a framework for how our local government operates and establishes a system of checks and balances to sustain fair governance that is responsive to change.
Our overriding goal is to act in the best interests of the residents of Bexley through a process that is inclusive, transparent, efficient, responsive, and accountable, and which provides a workable structure to get things done.
In doing this, we hope to increase citizen awareness of our codes and government processes, to encourage residents both to observe city regulations and to take an active part in our city government, while being mindful of the responsibility we all have to facilitate our government’s smooth, effective, fair, and efficient operation.
To this end, we want our Charter to be aspirational, clear, concise, and easily read.
Mayor Ben Kessler stated on July 2, 2018, “The purpose of the Charter Review Commission is to bring together residents who are passionate about the City and the community to see if there are any changes that should be brought to the Charter.” The Charter provides for the possibility of a review every 10 years.
In the summer of 2019, applicants were sought to serve on the Commission and were asked to respond to 4 questions posed by City Council and to submit a cv. After reviewing these materials, City Council held a public vote on all the candidates and selected the top 10. The Mayor was asked to select 5 members to complete the total of 15 Commissioners.
Process: On-going interviews of City, Community representatives and solicitation of public comments through 4 phases.
Phase 1: Data Gathering – Including Individual Charter Reviews, Discussion on Interim Thinking, and Planning
In-depth review (meaning /purpose) of each section of the Charter as facilitated by Counsel. Consideration of “cleanup“ language with focus on clarity, readability, internal consistency, for example: adoption of gender neutral language; any items not in conformance with the Ohio Revised Code, where required. Identification and evaluation of pre-selected “Big” impact Items, for example: elected Mayor or not; term limits; structure of Council; removal authority; Commission appointment procedures; Council compensation, addition of Ethics section; assuring resident voices are heard; should the City Attorney be elected?
Phase 2: Section by Section Review of Charter & Identification of Big Impact Items
Starting with the first Article, analyzing the current content. In the event the Commission determines a provisions needs to be changed, an outline of the desired change will be prepared and assigned to member(s) who will work with legal counsel to draft a new provision. The new provision will then be reviewed at the next Commission meeting and adopted, either as drafted or after amendments were made. A table, in the form attached, will be used to note how each provision of the Charter was evaluated. Any changes are to be noted for each section in tabular form. In the event the provision is retained, its location in the amended charter is noted. In the event the provision was changed, the changes shall be so noted . identification and evaluation of pre-selected “BIG IMPACT” items, for example: Elected Mayor or not; term limits; structure of Council; removal authority; Commission appointment procedure, addition of Ethics section; assuring resident voices are heard; should the City Attorney be elected?
Phase 3: Completion and Consideration of Integrated Draft and Report
Assignment to a committee of Commission members to assemble, with the assistance of legal counsel, all segments of the newly proposed Charter into an integrated whole, for consideration and approval by the Commission, to be used as the basis for a public hearings. Further, draft to be submitted to the Mayor for comment prior to final review by legal counsel. Public meeting. Preparation of, and voting on, any adjustments to the proposed Charter prompted by Mayor’s review and commentary, legal review, and public hearing. Completion of and voting on the accompanying report to Council.
Phase 4: Report to City Council
Newly proposed Charter and accompanying report delivered to Council.