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Task force to review Cincinnati's charter for the first time in nearly 90 years

Provided, City of Cincinnati
Council member Kevin Flynn

A Charter Review Task Force is being formed to do the first comprehensive review of Cincinnati’s city charter since it was adopted nearly 90 years ago.

Council member Kevin Flynn, who chairs council’s rules committee, put out the call Tuesday for people to volunteer to serve on the task force, which will be expected to meet regularly for six months to a year before recommending charter changes to city council.

“We are instituting a comprehensive review of our city’s charter, which has been in place since the 1920s without a comprehensive review,’’ said Flynn, a Charter Committee council member who has pushed for the task force’s creation.

“We figure that after about 90 years, it’s about time for it to be looked at,’’ Flynn said.

Flynn said he expects the task force to have 15 to 20 members, with representatives of all three Cincinnati political parties, Democratic, Republican and the Charter Committee, along with political independents.

The task force will look at every part of the charter which has governed the city since 1925.

Flynn said that among the things the task force will look at are the role of the mayor – and proposals that Cincinnati go to a strong mayor form of government – and how city council is elected.

The task force will also deal with outdated and irrelevant portions of the charter – such as charter language that says the city owns the University of Cincinnati and University Hospital. It has been decades since the city owned either of those institutions.

Flynn said a report on charter revisions will be delivered to the mayor and city council and will end up being voted on by Cincinnatians.

Everything is on the table, Flynn said.

“We’re going to go A to Z on this,’’ Flynn said. “It’s not going to be a short term fix; it’s not going to be a piecemeal fix. It’s going to be comprehensive.”

People interested in joining the task force can either submit a form, send an e-mail, or send a letter to: The Office of Councilmember Kevin Flynn, 801 Plum Street, Room 348, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Flynn will appear on 91.7 WVXU’s Cincinnati Edition Thursday at 1 p.m. to discuss the charter review task force.