Gahanna charter-review commission begins pondering amendments

Marla K. Kuhlman
ThisWeek group

Gahanna’s charter-review commission has started its work in reviewing the city’s charter. 

The commission reviews the municipal charter and recommends amendments to council, according to the city's website: gahanna.gov.

Gahanna City Hall

It convenes once every five years, most recently in 2016. 

Gahanna Mayor Laurie Jadwin said the commission is one of the most effective opportunities to serve the community.

"The charter really sets the framework for our day-to-day operations between city administration, City Council and the legal branch of government and directs the work between all three branches of government for the betterment of the community," she said. 

Jadwin said the charter also acts as a function of checks and balances among the three branches and between the residents and administration. 

Sheila Vitale has been elected chairman of the commission and Ellen Zehner vice chairman. Others serving on the commission are Ross Beckmann, Bill Dutton, Shane Ewald, Alvin McKenna, and Isobel Sherwood.  

Zehner and Vitale both served on the 2016 commission.

“I am excited to serve as chairwoman and review the Gahanna charter,” Zehner said. “During the last commission, we reviewed several proposed changes, including changes in residency requirements for the Gahanna mayor and a few other changes. We performed our work timely and effectively, working with the mayor and City Council. In the end, all of our proposed amendments to the Gahanna charter were approved by the voters.”

Vitale has lived in Gahanna for more than 20 years with her husband, Frank, and her son, Dean. She has been active in the St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Parish community and served on its parent advisory board. 

“I try to stay active in city governance and served on the governance commission as chairperson in 2016 and was vice chairperson for the last charter-review commission in 2017,” Vitale said.

She said a tentative schedule for the commission included: 6 p.m. April 20, a video meeting with Jadwin.

She said it would be determined when the public would be invited to comment from meetings that are scheduled May 4, 11, 18 and 25.  

Other meeting are scheduled June 8, 15 and 22. Depending on progress, the commission might not need to meet every week, Vitale said.

The meetings begin at 6 p.m. and are accessible from the city’s website.

Any proposed changes would have to be submitted to council by July 1 and would be placed on the Nov. 2 ballot.  

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla