By Anna DeWine
BEAVERCREEK — Beavercreek voters have decided from now on they will vote directly for their mayor.
The City of Beavercreek Charter Amendment passed 76.62 percent to 23.38 percent Tuesday night, with 16,780 voting yes and 5,121 voting no.
This means that voters will directly elect the city’s mayor beginning in the 2019 November general election, leaving the decision no longer to chance. Mayoral candidates will specifically run for the position, and voters will directly elect one from that pool of candidates.
“I’m really pleased the residents of Beavercreek supported this,” City Councilman Brian Jarvis said at press time. “It’s great for the city to have a mayor directly elected by the people so that they know who they are voting for — I think this will really benefit the city.”
Mayor Bob Stone shared the same sentiment as Jarvis, pleased with the results and thankful for voters’ support.
“I think it sends a message that people are ready for this, and that they want a direct voice in electing their mayor,” Stone said.
Currently, the city charter has established a council-manager form of government, which is composed of an elected city council of six council members and a mayor. The city mayor selection is part of the council member election that happens every two years. The candidate that receives the highest number of votes is selected as mayor. The highest-vote-getter serves for two years as mayor and then serves for two years as a council member. Under these rules, the city gets a new mayor every two years.
The new amendment, though, brings a few changes.
The directly-elected mayor will serve a four-year term. The candidate could be elected to a consecutive four-year term as mayor for a total of eight years, but would have to leave council for four years before returning.
Council members will be term-limited at a combination of two four-year terms between the offices of council member and mayor.
Despite these changes, the office will remain largely a ceremonial office. The mayor will keep its roles, powers and responsibilities that are already defined by the charter. The council candidate receiving the most votes in each council election would be elected vice mayor, rather than mayor, for the first two years of his or her four-year term.
Reach Anna DeWine at 937-502-4498.