On the November 3rd election ballot there will be five (5) revisions to the Sandusky City Charter. These proposed changes were recommendations of the Charter Review Committee and voted on and approved by the Sandusky City Commission. Below you will see the official language on the ballot,  followed by a brief summary. Please note, the summary will NOT be on the ballot.

PROPOSED CHARTER AMENDMENTS

ISSUE #1 – Proposed Charter Amendment, City of Sandsuky

Shall Section 4 of the City Charter be amended to reduce the minimum residence requirement for candidates for City Commission from three (3) years to eighteen (18) months?

Currently, Sandusky residents must live in Sandusky for three years before they can run for city commission. The City Commission and Charter Review Committee concluded that time period was too long. The change would allow more residents to be eligible for office and it would serve as an invitation to newer residents to serve their community.

ISSUE #2 – Proposed Charter Amendment, City of Sandusky

Shall Section 6 of the City Charter be amended, effective January 1, 2021 to establish the annual salary of the City Commissioners the yearly sum of the minimum monthly salary required to qualify as full-service credit with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System?

The current Commission salary is $5,200 per year and was last adjusted in 2000. It is now too low to receive retirement/years of service credit through the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS). The current threshold through OPERS is $8,076.90 per year. The Charter Review Committee valued the service of city commissioners to their community, and believed it merited credit through the system. By indexing to meet the OPERS minimum salary requirements, automatic adjustments would be made without the City’s Charter having to be revised. The change may also encourage more people to run.

ISSUE #3 – Proposed Charter Amendment, City of Sandusky

Shall Section 25 of the City Charter be amended to adjust the expenditure threshold for competitive bidding and specific approval of the City Commission from $10,000 to $25,000?

This would change the threshold from $10,000 to $25,000 for both the competitive bidding and items needing City Commission approval.  There are many reasons the Charter Review  Committee and City Commission recommended this change. They heard from staff that raising this limit would make daily operations more efficient, while still having checks and balances in place, as multiple quotes are still required under this threshold. The state of Ohio sets the limit at $50,000, as does Perkins, Norwalk, Vermilion and Erie County. The last time this was increased was in 2000, and the cost of goods has risen considerably since.

ISSUE #4 – Proposed Charter Amendment, City of Sandusky

Shall Section 27 of the City Charter be amended to adjust the minimum qualifications to be considered for appointment to Police Chief, by allowing any full-time law enforcement officer with ten (10) years law enforcement experience within the last twelve (12) preceding years and having held the rank of Sergeant or higher to be considered for appointment to Police Chief?

This item proposes two changes to the Charter. The first proposed change would require 10 years out of the last 12 years of service to be in active service. The current Charter makes a candidate ineligible if they have had a break in service and a previous chief could not return to service, even as the interim chief. The second change would expand the applicant pool to now make individuals who have held the rank of Sergeant (or its equivalent) or higher eligible to apply for the Police Chief position. The Charter Review Committee and the City Commission recommend this change because ranks and titles vary from one department to another, and they hope to broaden the pool of candidates eligible to apply.

ISSUE #5 – Proposed Charter Amendment, City of Sandusky

Shall Section 27 of the City Charter be amended to adjust the minimum qualifications to be considered for appointment to Fire Chief by allowing any full-time firefighter with ten (10) years firefighter experience within the last twelve (12) preceding years and having held the rank of Lieutenant, Captain, or higher to be considered for appointment to Fire Chief?

This item proposes two changes to the Charter. The first proposed change would require 10 years out of the last 12 years of service to be in active service. The current Charter makes a candidate ineligible if they have had a break in service and a previous chief could not return to service, even as the interim chief. The second change would expand the applicant pool to include individuals that have held the rank of Lieutenant, Captain, or higher to be eligible to apply for the Fire Chief position. The Charter Review Committee and the City Commission recommend this change because ranks and titles vary from one department to another, and they hope to broaden the pool of candidates eligible to apply.

If you have questions pertaining to proposed Charter Amendments, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 419.627.5844 or the City Clerk’s Office at 419.627.5850.