Licking County News

Mayor asks council for charter review commission nominees

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New Pataskala Mayor Mike Compton said he will convene a charter review commission in 2014.

On Jan. 6, Compton asked each City Council member to give him the name of a person who could serve on the commission.

Compton said he then would appoint the commission members.

Council members have said the commission should review the mayor and administrator positions before recommending any changes.

Mike Fox said the commission should be allowed to review the entire charter if it wishes, but Bryan Lenzo said the commission needs to focus on those two positions because the city has agreed to hire an interim administrator for 16 to 18 months during the charter review.

Rufus Hurst, the city's law director, said the charter review commission can make recommendations that must be approved by City Council and placed on the ballot for approval.

The city can change the duties of the mayor or administrator but it cannot change compensation of a city official while that person is in office, he said.

Fox reminded City Council members that any charter changes would have to be approved by City Council in August to be on the November ballot.

In related news, Benjamin King, the city's public-services director, has agreed to serve as administrator until an interim administrator is chosen.

City Council on Nov. 18 agreed unanimously to pay an employee an additional $75 a day for serving as acting city administrator.

The city received 59 applications for the interim administrator's position.

Former City Administrator Timothy Boland's contract was not renewed.

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