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Xenia voters to decide another round of charter amendments


XENIA — Voters in Xenia will decide on a second round of city charter amendments in the August election.

After approving amendments in May, voters are being asked to approve changes to Articles IV, IX, and XIII and to repeal Articles XIV, and XV as their contents would be incorporated into Article XIII.

The changes will be on one ballot item and the complete text of each amendment will not appear on the ballot. However, the city said on its website that each voting precinct “should” have a copy of the document containing the existing text, the proposed new text, and struck-through text (text to be deleted), as well as notes on existing text that is just being relocated.

Changes to Article IV, which concerns city council, include clarifying the two-year residency requirement to immediately precede the filing to run for office rather than prior to the election, and removing the restriction prohibiting the mayor from serving as chair or vice chair of council.

The amendment also includes the procedure and rules for appointing a person to a vacant council seat and requiring council to keep a record of proceedings.

Changes to Article IX deal with financial procedures, and would add language recognizing that the city must comply with Ohio’s Uniform Tax Levy Law regarding appropriations, expenditures, budgets, taxation, debts, bonds, and other fiscal matters; remove sections of Article IX that conflict with Uniform Tax Levy Law or that are unnecessary as they quote the Uniform Tax Levy Law verbatim; require council to adopt a deposit and investment policy for public funds; condense and combine related sections; expand language regarding contracting procedures and allow waiver of competitive bidding for the same reasons waiver is allowed under state law.

The changes to Article XIII specify Ohio Ethics Law applies to all city officials and employees; add open meeting requirements that apply to council and all boards and commissions, and clarify that the charter may only be amended by the voters.

The amendments approved in May concerned council procedure, boards and commissions, and human resources/civil service.

The city’s charter was adopted in 1917 and hadn’t been comprehensively updated since 1998, according to the city’s website. The charter review commission was established in 2018.

By Scott Halasz

[email protected]

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.