Approval of the nine Gahanna charter amendments that appeared on the Nov. 8 ballot shows residents want a more transparent government, according to the leader of the commission that helped propose the changes.

Approval of the nine Gahanna charter amendments that appeared on the Nov. 8 ballot shows residents want a more transparent government, according to the leader of the commission that helped propose the changes.

George Mrus, chairman of Gahanna's latest Charter Review Commission, said approval of all of the ballot initiatives reflects the support of Gahanna voters for a more responsive government as well.

Gahanna voters overwhelmingly supported amendments to the city's charter listed as Issues 26-32 and 34 but were more divided in approving Issue 33.

"As chair, I am so very grateful to have been part of the Charter Review Commission and am encouraged in the future of Gahanna," he said. "All members of the Charter Review Commission are to be commended for volunteering their time and expertise in seeking to better the quality of life for Gahanna residents and businesses."

The commission, which met from March through May, included Mrus, Sheila P. Vitale, John Hicks, Laurie Jadwin, Diana M. Redman, Thomas L. Weber and Ellen T. Zehner.

The commission proposed the amendments in the interests of improved efficiency and transparency, Mrus said. Some items in the charter hadn't been changed since the early 1960s.

"The issues our charter commission brought forth were changes they felt very strongly about, and I'm 100 percent behind them," said Tom Kneeland, Gahanna's mayor. "I'm glad to hear the people of Gahanna supported the recommendations."

The issues that will go into effect, with the final unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Elections, include:

* Issue 26 -- Amend Section 3.02, 14,119 in favor to 2,932 against. The mayor shall have a residency requirement of two years prior to the date of filing declaration of candidacy for election with the board of elections. There's currently a 90-day residency requirement.

* Issue 27 -- Amend Section 3.08, 15,362 in favor to 1,892 against. Estimate of expenditures to better define fiscal management.

* Issue 28 -- Amend Section 4.03, 14,571 in favor to 2,471 against. There will be a residency requirement of one year prior to the date of filing declaration of candidacy for council and completion of term. Currently there's a 90-day residency requirement.

* Issue 29 -- Amend Section 4.14, 12,665 in favor to 3,182 against. Effective date of resolutions and ordinances. "Authorization and execution of a construction contract" will be added to the list of items that would take effect without a 30-day waiting period.

* Issue 30 -- Amend Section 5.02, 11,801 in favor to 4,495 against. Department heads and additional administrative departments to provide mayor and council the authority to adjust the management structure.

* Issue 31 -- Add section 6.01, 14,578 in favor to 2,033 against. Elected officials, forfeiture and suspension of office, establishing the standard of conduct for elected officials.

* Issue 32 -- Amend Section 11.02, 11,637 in favor to 4,042 against. Planning commission minimum required meetings, allowing ordinances to govern the number of times the commission would meet.

* Issue 33 -- Amend Section 13.03, 8,880 in favor to 6,406 against. Classified and unclassified service, moving management, supervisor or director level positions to unclassified service positions from classified.

* Issue 34 -- Amend Section 23.08, 14,428 in favor to 1,991 against. Rearrangement and reprinting of charter, to ensure the charter is consistent, orderly, grammatically correct and appears in a professional manner.

Kim Banning, Gahanna's clerk of council, said she would schedule a Charter Review Commission meeting after receiving certified results from the Board of Elections.

The city charter requires the commission to meet with the clerk to certify an official version of the charter reflecting the election's certified results.

A local option, Issue 35b, also appeared on the ballot for Precinct 2-H seeking approval for Sunday sales from 10 a.m. to midnight (wine/mixed and spirituous liquor) for Casa Hacienda Grill, 1356 N. Hamilton Road. According to unofficial results, it passed by a vote of 418, or 71 percent, in favor to 167, or 29 percent.

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