Hilliard won't switch to a city-manager from of government any time soon after a recent recommendation vote by the charter-review commission.

Commission members voted 10-1 on Feb. 7 to recommend that the city maintain a mayor-council form of government but did not exclude the possibility of modifying that system.

"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," said Kurt Gearhiser, chairman of the commission.

The current "strong-mayor" form of government has been successful, Gearhiser said, but the commission is willing to explore modifications, such as whether the mayor should be a full-time position.

"Hybrid" forms that could be explored include the "weak mayor-city manager or administrator-council forms of government," according to the city's website, hilliardohio.gov.

The decision to steer away from a city manager had to be made early in the process because so many other changes would be required if the commission favored a city-manager form of government, Gearhiser said.

Also, the question still could be put before voters via an initiative petition.

City councilmen Les Carrier and Andy Teater are among those who publicly have supported a city-manager form of government.

Carrier said he appreciates the work of the charter-review commission.

Concerning an initiative of any kind, he said, he will "wait and see what the community wants."

The charter-review commission's 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, per the city charter.

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 "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 eliminate partisan elections.

The commission is scheduled to meet again March 7 at the Hilliard Municipal Building, 3800 Municipal Way. The 11-member commission must make any recommendations for charter amendments no later than Aug. 23.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo