Along with the creation of a countywide group to address storm water issues in communities across the county, the Charter Review Commission recommended three more changes to put on the November ballot. Summit County Council’s committee of the whole approved all three Monday, with a full council vote expected in the future.

The commission proposed creating a uniform process for filling vacancies in county elected offices, including county executive, council, fiscal officer, clerk of common pleas court, engineer, prosecuting attorney or sheriff positions becoming vacant, such as by death, resignation or removal from office.

If the vacancy is 120 days or more before the general election in the second year of a four-year term, any temporary appointment would be until the next general election, with a committee from each political party selecting a person, once they’re certified, to appear on the ballot to fill the rest of the term.

If the vacancy is less than 120 days before the general election in the second year of a four-year term, any temporary appointment would be for the remainder of the four-year term.

At-large county council member Clair Dickinson said the current 40 days is too close to when early voting starts, 28 days before the election.

The commission also proposed repealing a section of the charter to allow County Council to set its own rules for electing officers.

Per the charter, council is required to have an organizational meeting each January to elect officers. Dickinson said he thinks the council should only elect officers every two years instead. He added the charter change wouldn’t put the two-year plan in place, but it would allow for discussion and potential future changes, as council wouldn’t be bound by the charter.

Additionally, the commission recommended having the county’s equal employment opportunity administrator report to the bipartisan Human Resource Commission instead of the county executive to ensure independence.

Council’s committee of the whole also approved putting a six-year, 2.95-mill renewal levy on the November ballot for the county's Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, with the full council voting on it in the future. An estimated $34 million in property tax revenue would be collected.

 

Contact reporter Emily Mills at 330-996-3334, emills@thebeaconjournal.com and @EmilyMills818.