New manager suggests city charter change

STEUBENVILLE – City Manager Tim Boland made his first appearance before the Charter Review Commission Thursday to ask members to consider changing the process used to approve legislation at City Council meetings.

“There was a question raised at this week’s meeting regarding emergency legislation. You may want to consider what we did in Pataskala. The council would have a first reading of an ordinance and then a super majority of the council members could approve the waiving of the second and third reading. That allowed time for the public to make their comments, but if there were no problems it also moved through the legislation. What I like about it is there is still a 30-day period after the first reading for the ordinance to take effect,” Boland explained.

City Council currently has the ability to approve legislation on an emergency basis or have the ordinance read at three separate meetings and then wait an additional 30 days before it goes into effect.

“This language helped us in Pataskala, especially on legislation dealing with road projects and outside funding,” added Boland.

Commission members continued to review the current procedures for selecting a police and fire chief and agreed to consider language allowing the city manager to select a future chief from outside of the city.

“I would like to see the city have the flexibility to go outside to choose a police or fire chief. My purpose is to not tie up the city’s hands. This is done all over the country But I also don’t want to ignore the current police and fire department members if they are interested in future vacancies in the job,” explained commission member Jim Mavromatis.

The commission members agreed candidates for the police or fire chief position should be required to have a certain amount of higher education as well as command experience.

Commission Chairman John J. Mascio said he will prepare language for consideration at the next commission meeting.

Commission members asked Boland to arrange for city department heads to attend a review meeting to offer suggestions or ideas.

And, commission member Rikki Kamarados suggested the panel hold an evening meeting to be available for public comments.

The charter review commission meets at 10 a.m. every Thursday at the Historic Fort Steuben Visitors Center.

The meetings are open to the public.