Election day is Tuesday May 7

Fairborn voters to decide on changes to charter

It will be easier for office seekers to get on the ballot in Fairborn if voters approve one of three issues on charter amendments that will be on the May 7 ballot.

Issues 5,6, and 7 represent six amendments to the city charter that council voted unanimously in January to put before voters.

The charter amendments come after a charter review committee made recommendations and council members discussed the six proposed changes during work sessions, according to the Jan. 22 council meeting.

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Issue 5 will ask voters to extend the term for mayor from two to four years and enable a person to serve both as mayor and as a council member for a total of 16 consecutive years. If approved, this would effectively double the length of time a person can stay in office when serving consecutively as mayor and council member, as the city’s charter currently limits combined terms to eight consecutive years.

Regardless of the May 7 outcome, the city charter says an elected official must take a two-year break from office after terms are finished before seeking re-election.

Assistant City Manager Peter Bales said this move will help the city have more influence on regional planning with the mayor serving as the representative on the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission.

“The passage of Issue 5 will bolster the city of Fairborn’s influence in a regional setting by providing consistent representation on area boards and commissions which effect policy, funding and development efforts,” Bales said.

Issue 6 will be a vote on whether to remove the automatic repeal after 180 days of emergency ordinances passed by council. Bales told council the city occasionally has to reintroduce and get passage on ordinances that have expired in that time period. In addition, Issue 6 asks voters to change language for purposes of council holding executive sessions to include reasons outlined in the Ohio Revised Code.

“The passage of Issue 6 will streamline government administrative services by complying with the Ohio Revised Code and creating efficiencies with procedural regulations,” Bales said.

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Issue 7, if approved, would reduce the number of signatures a city council candidate must have to petition for office from 100 to 50, and it would require such petitions to be filed with the board of elections office by 90 days of an election instead of 60 days.

“The passage of Issue 7 will make it easier for candidates to be placed on the ballot and also easier for citizens to learn about candidate perspectives,” Bales said.

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