Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Charter draft is released, would transform county government

Reformers have released a draft of the county charter they want to put on the November ballot. (UPDATE, 6/10: I've replaced the June 4 draft with a link to the final version of the charter.)

A quick read shows it would create a county government very different from the one we have now.

-We'd have an elected county executive and an 11-person county council, instead of having three commissioners holding legislative and executive power.

-A prosecutor and public defender would be elected. All other county officials would be appointed.

-The council would have the power to investigate the spending and conduct of any county official or department. Today, the commissioners exert scant oversight of the other nine elected county officials.

-The county auditor and recorder would be replaced by a fiscal officer who would have to be a certified accountant.

-A human resources commission would establish uniform pay scales and job descriptions for all county offices. An internal audit commission would keep watch over spending.

-Voters could start petition drives to recall elected county officials. In the current system, we can't do that.

-County officials would have to report attempts to bribe them, and would be removed from office if they don't.

-Any money saved by creating the new government would go into a scholarship program for county residents.

-Several rules would encourage the county to focus on economic development as a mission.

-The elections for the new government would take place in November 2010, and the new county officials would take over in January 2011. Several current county officials elected in 2008 would lose their jobs.

1 comment:

deep lock said...

if you want to get technical, the State Gen. Assembly holds the legislative power not the County council. even with a charter they are still bound by O.R.C.