Hilliard's charter-review commission voted 10-1 on Feb. 7 to recommend that the city maintain a mayor-council form of government rather than a city manager, according to the city's website, hilliardohio.gov.

Commission member Alex Cofield was the dissenter.

Kurt Gearhiser, chairman of the charter-review commission, said the current "strong-mayor" form of government has been successful.

However, the "dissent vote was not in favor of the current mayor form of government" and the commission "voted to explore hybrid forms of government, such as weak mayor-city manager or administrator-council forms of government," the website said.

"It's not that the status quo is always OK; there are other things we can change to be more efficient, but we thought changing to a city manager would not be a benefit," Gearhiser said.

Such a decision had to be made early in the process because so many other changes would be required if the commission had opted to suggest a change to a city manager form of government, he said.

The vote is one part of the charter-review process. The commission will finalize any recommendations before presenting them to Hilliard City Council, which will decide on which changes to put to vote by residents, according to the city.

City Council members said upon forming the commission last year that issues that could be considered are whether Hilliard should employ a city-manager form of government instead of the current "strong mayor" system, whether City Council should be a mix of at-large and ward representatives, whether term limits should be reinstituted and whether the city should step away from partisan elections.

The commission is scheduled to meet again March 7 at the Hilliard Municipal Building, 3800 Municipal Way.

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