Vote 'yes' on Issue 10 for a more productive CH City Council
As part of the transition to an elected mayor–council form of government, CH City Council is asking for your support for an important amendment to our city charter. A YES vote on May 3 will allow the clerk of council to work directly for the legislative branch of government, rather than the executive branch.
Currently, the clerk of council, who is also the finance director, works for and serves at the pleasure of the mayor. The finance director, in turn, hires an assistant clerk of council. This outdated provision not only greatly burdens our finance director, but also provides city council members with no staff to support them with their legislative duties. With this charter amendment, that position will be shifted to work directly for, and to serve, city council.
Because the city already has a position for an assistant clerk of council, a YES vote on Issue 10 will NOT add a new staff position. Rather, this charter amendment simply shifts the role of the clerk from the executive to the legislative branch, and puts it under council’s supervision—where it belongs.
A clerk of council is a position that almost all city councils have to help them perform their many important duties. Several of our neighboring cities—including Lakewood, Beachwood, Solon, University Heights, and Maple Heights—have a charter provision that places the role of clerk of council directly under city council, not the city administration.
Some of the duties a clerk of council traditionally performs include:
- Coordinating pre-council meeting tasks;
- preparing council public hearing notices for newspaper publication;
- preparing meeting agendas;
- gathering, compiling, and distributing materials and information needed by council and attendees;
- scheduling meetings and public city council events among council members, the mayor, and department directors;
- attending council and committee meetings as a recording secretary;
- recording, transcribing, and preparing meeting minutes and council decisions;
- preparing memos, letters, spreadsheets, and reports;
- performing post-meeting work, including finalizing and distributing approved ordinances; and
- certifying and posting agenda, minutes, and records in accordance with Ohio’s Sunshine Law.
A full-time clerk of council will go a long way toward making our city council more organized, responsive and productive. Our city council wants to be more communicative and effective, and a dedicated clerk of council who reports directly to council will help us get there.
On May 3, please vote YES on Issue 10 for a more productive CH City Council!
This opinion was submitted by CH Council Member Tony Cuda, and signed by him and five other council members: Melody Joy Hart, Craig Cobb, Davida Russell, Josie Moore, and Gail Larson.