Whitehall News

Charter review

Council appoints five-member commission


Whitehall City Council members have named a five-member Charter Review Commission, whose job is to review the city charter and possibly recommend amendments.

Any amendments would be subject to council review and then presented as one or more ballot issues to the electorate.

The charter requires a review every five years. In 2008, a Charter Review Commission convened and made five recommendations that voters approved, primarily making small grammar and procedural changes.

Whitehall City Council members on Feb. 26 had considered 10 residents who were nominated for the Charter Review Commission.

The five members are Ken Abshire, Naja Bailey, Scott Cavanaugh, Mark Elam and Amalee Soteriades.

Bailey is the spouse of Whitehall City Councilman Robert Bailey; Soteriades is the widow of James "Herk" Soteriades, who was a fire inspector and councilman. Soteriades was a member of the committee in 2008.

The five members are expected to attend the next regularly scheduled meeting of Whitehall City Council at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, at Whitehall City Hall, 360 S. Yearling Road.

Council members are expected to adopt a resolution formally appointing the members to the commission. The commission members are expected to schedule an organizational meeting and name a president, a vice president and a secretary.

In other action Feb. 26, members reviewed eight items of draft legislation and assigned each to a committee. The ordinances were expected to be introduced and receive a first reading March 5.

Legislation includes amending the city's employee vacation and sick-leave policy, amending the job description for property room clerk, increasing the number of part-time communications operators, authorizing the continuance of the city's contribution to a portion of the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund, approving an appointment to the Central Ohio Transit Authority board of trustees and authorizing a contract for mosquito control.

Vector Disease Control International will provide mosquito control for the city this year.

"The city has provided the service in the past, but this year we will contract for it," council president Jim Graham said.

Whitehall Police Chief Richard Zitzke will serve as the city's representative to the COTA board.

COTA wanted a representative with knowledge about transit systems and emergency management policy, Graham said, and Zitzke accepted to serve as a noncompensated representative.