Council May Send Five Old Issues to Ballot
Twinsburg City Council discussed which issues from 2009 and 2011 to send back to voters on Nov. 6.
Twinsburg voters may have deja vu this November as several issues from the past will be back before them to vote on.
City council had a special meeting Tuesday to discuss sending seven issues from 2009 and 2011 back to the ballot on Nov. 6 of this year.
All issues still need to be voted on by council at its Aug. 28 meeting.
The issues were originally voted on but were declared invalid by council because they were not advertised properly before the election.
“We have the issues in front of us of amendments to put on the ballot, that didn’t follow the proper procedure and amendments on the ballot that didn’t pass,” Council President Ted Yates said.
Most of the issues discussed were changes to the city charter.
Because these issues were already voted on, and some of them passed, Law Director David Maistros saw no reason why they shouldn't be given another chance before voters.
“I don’t see why we just don’t put them back before the electorate,” Maistros said.
The first of four issues from November 2009 was Issue 32.
It ammends the city charter to combine the Historic Preservation Commission with the Architectural Review Board.
It was approved with 75 percent voting for it.
Issue 33 modifies the requirements for hiring a law director. The legislation says that the candidate, chosen by the mayor and approved by council, must have five years of practice in municipal law.
Twinsburg approved this change with 78 percent of the popular vote.
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Issue 34 clarifies that any parcel of land annexed by the city must be classified by the planning commission before approval by council. This is does not apply to residential areas, however.
This issue was approved with 62 percent of the popular vote in 2009.
Issue 35 from 2009 was one that caused some debate among council Tuesday.
It affects how charter amendments are sent to the ballot. If approved, city council would be required to submit to the ballot any revisions, alterations, or amendments that are recommended by the Charter Review Commission.
This was approved in 2009 with 80 percent of the popular vote.
Some council members worried this may appear to give the charter review commission more power to make changes than other boards or commissions, but others didn’t think it made a difference.
“You’re saying, ‘Whatever they come back to you with, you have to agree to,’” Maistros said.
“You’re taking charter review and giving it a lot more power,” Yates said.
Other members of council felt that even if the charter review wants to put an amendment on the ballot, it comes down to the voters to make it a law.
“What they put on the ballot doesn’t become the law unless the residents vote for it,” Sam Scaffide, Ward 1 councilman, said.
Only one issue from November 2011 was chosen to put on the ballot again this year.
Issue 63, a charter amendment that was voted down, would allow the appointing of all positions in the city's safety forces below chief through the Civil Service.
Issue 62, also voted down, would amend the charter, making police and fire chiefs unclassified positions and eliminating positions that no longer exist.
Council members thought Issue 63 should stand alone this year, believing lumping the two civil service amendments together confused voters.
Council thought it best to have Issues 62 and 64 (banning outdoor wood-burning furnaces) appear on the ballot in the spring.