Mayor names members of charter review commission

STEUBENVILLE – Seven months after a resolution was approved by City Council to create a charter review commission, nine city residents were named to serve on the panel Tuesday night.

Mayor Domenick Mucci said he asked repeatedly for city residents interested in serving on the panel to contact his office.

His recommended list of people to conduct a formal review of the city charter was unanimously approved by the City Council during the regular meeting.

Mucci recommended Jacqueline Platt, Aldo Isadore, Louise Holliday, John J. Mascio, Priscilla Demjan, James Mavromatis, Rikki Kamarados, Patrick Riley and James Baber to the commission that is expected to hold meetings, hear testimony and suggestions on amending the charter that initially was approved by city voters and implemented in 1984.

The charter was reviewed in 1987 and again in 1992.

“The commission will review the charter and accept testimony from city department heads, business owners and private residents on any proposed changes to the document. The Charter Review Commission is not going to do away with the charter. Any plans to abolish the charter would need to start with a petition drive and if that is successful, the issue would be placed before the voters. And council cannot generate a drive to abolish the charter,” Mucci explained.

Fifth Ward Councilman Willie Paul raised the idea of a charter review commission at a February council meeting.

“Things have changed in our city since the charter was first approved in 1984. I would like to see the mayor appoint the nine-member committee needed to start a review of the charter. I think we should look at several issues, including if we need a city manager and do we need seven council members. We now have 18,000 people living in the city, which is a change from 1984. Things are completely different now. And we need to look at the checks and balances in Steubenville,” Paul stated at the Feb.19 sunshine meeting.

During the discussions in February and March, Mucci suggested the commission members not include current city employees, no elected officials, no city board or commission members and no persons doing business with the city.

Council voted 5-2 in favor of creating the charter review commission at the March 26 council meeting.

Third Ward Councilman Greg Metcalf and 4th Ward Councilwoman Angela Suggs opposed the resolution at the March meeting citing the time was not right for a charter review.

Mucci said all nine-member commission members will receive a copy of the city’s charter and will be encouraged to meet and start the review process.