Bexley Charter Review Commission: Public comment sought on proposed changes

Chris Bournea
ThisWeek
City of Bexley

As the Bexley Charter Review Commission continues its work of reviewing and making recommendations to update the city charter, it also is seeking input from residents on proposed changes that would be placed on the ballot for voters to approve. 

“The Bexley charter is the foundation upon which our city government is built and serves as our municipal constitution,” Commission Chairman John Offenberg said during an Oct. 19 virtual public forum. “It provides the overview of how Bexley is to operate. It sets out the rules and powers of our elected officials and establishes a system of checks and balances to sustain fair governance and that is responsive to change.” 

The commission would like residents to submit comments and suggestions before the final meeting Dec. 21.  

The commission, which convened in November 2019, is formed about every 10 years to study the city charter and provide recommendations to Bexley City Council about possible amendments. 

The charter covers everything from building codes to how city government’s executive, administrative and legislative branches operate. 

Some of the major proposed changes to the charter include:  

• Clarifying language that the city provides nondiscrimination protections for race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, color, religion or non-religion; ancestry, age, disability, family status and military status. 

• Codifying the Citizen Review Board that the mayor and City Council created this year that reviews complaints against city employees. 

• Limiting cash bonds for mayor's court defendants to reduce financial hardship. 

• Clarifying that public utilities should return public rights-of-way to their original condition after completing work. 

In addition, commission member Sam Marcellino said the commission chose not to take following suggestions: 

• Abandoning the mayoral form of government for a city manager form of government.

• Making the city attorney an elected position. The commission recommends maintaining this position as a mayoral appointment. 

• Implementing term limits for elected officials. 

To review and comment on the proposed changes to the city charter, visit Bexley.org/crc. 

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