Two Cincinnati Charter Amendments On November Ballot

Sep 2, 2015

Credit City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati voters will consider two Charter amendments this fall.  

Council approved two issues Wednesday: moving the city's mayoral primary from September to May, and another moving the beginning of mayoral and council terms from December to January.  It also includes cleaning up some other Charter language.

Members rejected another Charter amendment to let Council begin the process to fire the city manager.  Right now the mayor is the only one who can initiate that process.

Meanwhile, Council did not have six votes to override Mayor John Cranley's veto of another charter amendment approved last week that would have let city council meet in executive session, or meetings closed to the public.  

Member Yvette Simpson used economic development deals to show there are already private meetings.

“But what we’re saying is we don’t want executive session because that information is private and we don’t want that in secret meetings, we don’t want council deliberating secretly or seeing information secretly,” Simpson said.  “95 percent of this process as you’ve described it is secret.”

Council last week rejected another Charter amendment to take away the mayor's so-called “pocket veto.”  

A task force spent more than a year reviewing the Charter line-by-line before making recommendations.  

Council Member Wendell Young thanked the group and said there is a lesson to be learned.

“It is extremely difficult, I think, under the best of circumstances for those of us who sit in these seats to make these kinds of decisions without personalizing what’s going on,” Young said.  “It’s just a matter of human nature.  It’s the way people work.”

Council spent nearly two hours Wednesday discussing the Charter amendments and at one point during debate it appeared no issues would be on the ballot.  

The group had to act during the meeting because Friday is the deadline for the amendments to be on the November ballot.