New Albany residents' Tuesday, Nov. 5, general-election ballots will include plenty of local officeholders -- but no challengers to them.
Although residents won't have to choose among candidates in those races, they will have to decide a charter-amendment request from the city.
The amendment request has been designated as Issue 27 by the Franklin County Board of Elections.
Most of the requested changes are housekeeping in nature, according to New Albany city attorney Mitch Banchefsky. They include:
* Changing references from "village" to "city." New Albany officially became a city in 2011 after surpassing the U.S. Census Bureau's population threshold of 5,000.
* Defining the city's form of government as a council-manager model.
* Making it clear that any qualified council member or other qualified individual may serve as magistrate for New Albany Mayor's Court. Lawyers with the required training may preside over the court, Banchefsky said.
* Selecting a new president pro tempore every year instead of every two years.
* Allowing council to begin proceedings to compel a member to forfeit his or her seat if he or she has three unexcused regular-meeting absences in a 12-month period. The current charter says three consecutive meeting absences are required to begin this process.
* Labeling any police positions above the level of sergeant as unclassified. Officers at sergeant rank and below currently are classified employees (meaning they can't be fired without cause) and would continue to be, Banchefsky said. The chief is the department's only unclassified employee, so the change would help the department if it chose to add other higher-ranked leaders, he said.
If the changes are approved by New Albany voters, they would go into effect Jan. 1, Banchefsky said.
Local voters also will consider a countywide levy: a 3.1-mill, 10-year renewal levy for Franklin County Children Services that has been designated as Issue 10 by the board of elections.
The 3.1-mill renewal levy is expected to generate more than $85.6 million annually, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The levy will cost property owners about $84.50 per $100,000 in valuation, and it is collecting at an effective rate of 2.76 mills, according to the Franklin County Auditor's Office.
Meanwhile, the unchallenged officeholders are from New Albany, the New Albany-Plain Local School District and Plain Township.
In New Albany, Sloan Spalding is running for re-election as mayor, and Marlene Brisk, Michael Durik and Kasey Kist are running for their New Albany City Council seats. Kist was appointed in November 2018 to replace the late Glyde Marsh and must run to continue serving a term that expires Dec. 31, 2021, according to the board of elections.
For New Albany-Plain Local, Phil Derrow and Paul Naumoff are running for re-election to their second terms on the school board.
For Plain Township, trustee David Olmstead and fiscal officer Bud Zappitelli are running for reelection.
Military and overseas voting began Sept. 20; early in-person and absentee voting for others began Oct. 8.
Go online to ThisWeekNEWS.com/Elections for more coverage of local candidates and issues, and go to ThisWeekNEWS.com for Election Night Live results and recaps Nov. 5.