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Cincinnati Residents Could Vote On Several Charter Amendments This Fall

city hall
Bill Rinehart

Cincinnati City Council will vote Wednesday on several Charter amendments that could appear on the November ballot.

The Education, Innovation and Growth Committee met Tuesday and advanced several proposals for the full council to consider.
They include:

  • Two-year terms for city council members starting in 2021.  (Supporters are collecting petition signatures to put this on the ballot.  If they're successful, it doesn't matter whether council approves or not.)
  • Staggered, four-year terms for city council members with candidates deciding whether to seek either a four-year or two-year term in 2021.  Those elected for two years would then run again in 2023.
  • Staggered, four-year terms for city council members with the top five in the race serving until 2025 and the remaining four in the top nine contest running again in 2023.
  • A plan to let city council hold executive, or closed, sessions consistent with Ohio law.
  • A proposal "to prohibit unlimited and anonymous contributions made through limited liability companies to a candidate for municipal office."
  • Increasing the city's admission, or ticket, tax by two percent to fund human services programs and neighborhoods.
  • A measure removing the Ohio residency requirements for receiving bonus credit for military service when applying for civil service jobs in the city.  (Right now, anyone who has an honorable discharge from military service and who's an Ohio resident receives a five-point bonus for military training and experience.  The proposal would remove the Ohio residency requirement and match what other Ohio cities do.)

Six of nine city council members must vote in favor of any Charter amendment for it to make the November ballot.
Since there are competing proposals for the length of city council terms, if all three make the ballot, the one with the highest winning percentage would take effect.

Council could also delay decisions on some proposals Wednesday.  The group has until September 7 to make final decisions on such proposals.