If Michael T. Brandt had his way, people who like to criticize elected officials in Grove City could have a couple more to grouse about.

If Michael T. Brandt had his way, people who like to criticize elected officials in Grove City could have a couple more to grouse about.

Brandt, who served as chairman of the Charter Task Force to review the document that provides the framework for the city's government, feels strongly that five council members are not enough, particularly in the case of the four who represent constituents in wards.

The fifth is elected at-large by all the city's voters.

"The wards have gotten so big that it's really not feasible for someone to be representing such a huge area," Brandt said last week. "You get a little better diversity if you reconfigure the wards and have seven wards or six wards and one at-large."

Brandt was mayor of Grove City from 1972 to 1980. He is currently a Franklin County Municipal Court judge.

However, Brandt admitted, with the mayor and two council members also participating in the task force's deliberations, no consensus was arrived at on creating more elected legislative positions.

"They weren't really excited about it and I couldn't get any of the other members to be totally supportive of it," he said.

Also serving on the Charter Task Force are Rocky Black, Rob Gardner and Terri Merriman.

For his part, Black, executive director of Grove City Tomorrow Inc., enjoyed serving on the panel.

"It was interesting," he said. "You learn a lot about the framework for city government, in terms of the charter and how it relates to the council and the mayor."

The Charter Task Force was created by city council on March 17, 2008, just one step in a lengthy process that might lead to voters being asked to consider changes to a document that was originally adopted by voters on Nov. 4, 1958.

The next step would be creation of a more formal Charter Review Commission, whose members would be charged with making recommendations for changes that would also have to be approved by voters.

In the end, Brandt and Black both said, nothing in the way of major revisions was suggested by the Charter Task Force.

"Overall I'd say it was kind of a little checkup at the doctor's office rather than surgery," Black said. "Now, the surgery may come when we get a Charter Review Commission set up and maybe start looking at some other changes."

"Most of it was housekeeping type of things that were antiquated and needed to be updated," Brandt said.

One of the proposed changes would require the mayor to get the budget to council three weeks earlier than is currently required, changing it from Dec. 24 to Dec. 1.

Still, Brandt said that he hopes something in the way of more sweeping changes may be down the road.

"Frankly, it's been around a long time and it needed some changes," he told council members at their June 15 caucus session. "I really think you need to go to more councilmen.

"This is a big city, guys, and there's a lot going on and a lot that needs to be done."

"I really, really hope that the council makes the decision to create the Charter Review Commission," Brandt said in a telephone interview last week.

kparks@thisweeknews.com