The Franklin County Board of Elections has approved final ballot language for the August 2nd Special Election. This summary is required by the 2014 charter amendments which were overwhelmingly approved by voters. Check out the official language below.
Here’s the full ballot summary:
The proposed amendment would:
Requires council to appropriate funding and staff resources for a new governmental entity, the apportionment committee, and gives the committee exclusive authority to enter into contracts to employ experts, consultants, and attorneys who may not be city employees.
Creates a city council comprised of up to twenty-five members, with members elected from no fewer than four and up to twenty-two council wards, based upon the city’s population as reported in the decennial census, and three members elected by all city voters.
Abolishes the current seven-member council that is elected by all city voters.
Eliminates the ability of any city electors to remove any council member by recall; and provides that a petition seeking the recall of a council member elected from a ward contain the signatures of not less than fifteen percent of the number of qualified electors of that ward. If a recall election is held regarding a council member elected from a ward, only the electors of that ward shall vote on the recall.
Increases the size of the council from seven to thirteen members in 2018, with ten members elected by ward and three elected by all city voters.
Mandates the election of all thirteen council members at the November 7, 2017 regular municipal election.
Provides that the five council members elected from wards and the two council members elected at large who receive the most votes at the 2017 regular municipal election will serve four-year terms beginning January 1, 2018; and the five council members elected from wards and the one council member elected at large who receive the next highest number of votes will serve two-year terms beginning January 1, 2018. Following the 2019 regular municipal election, all council members will serve four-year terms.
Requires council members elected from wards to be electors of those wards for at least one year preceding the date of the regular primary election and to maintain a residence in the ward throughout their elected tenure.
Requires that, in the event of a vacancy for a council member elected from a ward, the successor appointed by the remaining members of council must be an elector having resided in that ward for at least one year preceding appointment.
Provides that no council member elected from a ward shall be disqualified from holding office if a change in ward borders occurs during the member’s term as long as the member remains a resident of the city.
Permits a variance of population between the largest and smallest wards of up to five percent.
Mandates other criteria for wards, including, but not limited to the following: wards must be contiguous, compact, and, to the extent practical, follow streets, waterways, geographic boundaries, communities, and neighborhoods.
Prohibits the consideration of the residence of any person in drawing wards.
Reduces the vote percentage required for council members to expel another council member for misconduct, malfeasance, or other offenses from a unanimous vote of all other council members to a vote of four-fifths of the total members of council.
Provides that a majority of the elected members of council will constitute a quorum necessary for action.
Reduces the vote percentage required for council members to pass emergency measures from a vote of six-sevenths to a vote of no less than four-fifths of the elected members.
Requires a candidate for council elected from a ward to submit petitions containing the signatures of no less than one hundred fifty electors of that ward.
Requires a candidate for council elected by all city electors to submit petitions containing the signatures of no less than one thousand electors of the city.
Creates a new governmental entity, a nine-member apportionment committee, to create and approve council ward apportionment plans.
Establishes a timeline of two hundred forty days from the date of adoption of the charter amendment or the release of the federal decennial census for the appointment of the apportionment committee, for the appointment of a master or masters to draw three ward apportionment plans, to solicit public input, and for the apportionment committee to adopt a ward apportionment plan.
Establishes operational requirements for the apportionment committee.
Provides that the nine members of the apportionment committee be electors of the city and to the extent practicable represent the city demographically and geographically.
Requires that the members of the apportionment committee may only be selected from those electors who apply to the city clerk for appointment and are deemed qualified by the clerk.
Disqualifies any person who is an elected official, a registered lobbyist, a candidate for any elective office, or a Columbus city employee from serving on the apportionment committee.
Provides that the three members of the apportionment committee be appointed by the mayor, including one member each representing the majority political party and minority political party as then represented on council, and one member who is unaffiliated with a political party or is a member of a political party then holding no seats on council. The council also appoints three members, including one member each representing the majority political party and minority political party or is a member of a political party then holding no seats on council. The six appointed members shall then appoint the remaining three members of the apportionment committee, including one member each representing the majority political party and minority political party as then represented on council, and one member who is unaffiliated with a political party or is a member of a political party then holding no seats on council.
Gives the mayor the sole authority to appoint apportionment committee members to achieve nine members if less than nine electors apply.
Requires the apportionment committee to appoint a master or masters, who are qualified by education, training, and experience to draw a ward apportionment plan.
Provides the mayor with the sole authority to appoint a master if the apportionment committee cannot agree upon a master within the timeline provided.
Requires that the master or masters provide to the committee no more than three plans for the creation and delineation of the proposed council wards. Following a period of consideration and public comment, the committee shall adopt a ward plan, which shall go into effect immediately and remain in effect until the following decennial census.
Provides the mayor with the sole authority to enact a ward apportionment plan if the apportionment committee fails to act in the timeline provided.
Requires that members of the new apportionment committee be appointed based on the partisan composition of a council that is elected in nonpartisan races.
Mandates consideration of a person’s political affiliation in appointing members of the new apportionment committee.