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City of Monroe Ballot Initiatives Revising Monroe Charter
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 2:10:08 PM - Monroe Ohio

by Monroe Councilman Steve Black

Last night, City Council approved a motion requesting our law director to generate language to put on the ballot for the November elections to amend our city charter. I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of what those proposed changes are and have an open discussion about them.

1. All of the general recommendations from the Charter Review Committee will be placed on the ballot as one votable item except for the recommended change for removing the city manager. This will be broken out into it's own item that you, as a voter, will be able to decide on.

The recommendation of the Charter Review Committee was to change the number of votes required to removed the City Manager from office from 4 to 5.

2. An addition to general recommendations ballot item will be removing the line in the council member qualifications mandating that any council member must resign his or her office if deployed for more than 60 days for active military duty.

I specifically asked for this item to be added to the ballot language because I feel it is completely unfair to our men and women in the armed forces. I believe that if, let's say, a council member who gets called up for active duty in the national guard and is deployed for 90 days, they should not be mandated to resign from their elected position. They can choose to, but they should not be mandated to.

3. Another separate ballot item is realigning the Director of Finance to report directly to Council instead of the City Manager. 

In an email I sent to council a few weeks ago, I had stated the following:

"I was unaware that the Director of Finance, in the organizational chart, reports directly to the City Manager and not independently to Council. I find this to be a potential conflict of interest whereas the checks and balances between those looking to spend taxpayers dollars and those responsible for reporting on all expenditures are in the same command chain..."

Last night, Mr. Kelley initiated the addition of this ballot item and council voted to do so.

These are all issues that I strongly support and hope that you will too this November.

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