Charter panel fine tunes language changes

STEUBENVILLE – The Charter Review Commission continued fine-tuning proposed changes to the 30-year-old city charter and agreed Thursday to change the process for selecting an acting city manager in the future.

The commission had been leaning toward naming the city engineer as the acting city manager in the event the job was temporarily vacant.

But commission members decided to allow the city manager to designate an acting city manager if there would be a vacancy of up to 30 days.

The commission decided to remain silent on vacancies that extend beyond the 30-day mark.

Under the current charter, the mayor serves as the acting city manager.

“We our wordsmithing everything now to make sure we have dotted our I’s and crossed our T’s,” observed commission member Jim Mavromatis.

The commission also reviewed suggestions and comments that came from the audience during last week’s evening meeting at Eastern Gateway Community College.

The commission will meet at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Historic Fort Steuben Visitor Center to continue reviewing the proposed changes and how the issues will appear on the November ballot.

The original city charter was approved by voters in 1984 was reviewed in 1987 and again in 1992.

Voters will be asked to vote on each proposed change during the November election.

The charter review commission members were appointed by Mayor Domenick Mucci and started the third review of the charter last November.

Mucci has asked the commission to send its proposed charter amendments to City Council by the end of May and council will then forward the proposed changes to the Jefferson County Board of Elections so the issues can appear on the November ballot.

“A notice of proposed changes should be mailed to city residents by September,” Mucci has said.

(Gossett can be contacted at dgossett@heraldstaronline.com.)