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Tiffin councilman proposes nixing partisan primary elections, other changes to city charter

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Tiffin, Ohio — Tiffin City Council on Monday heard the first reading of 11 proposed ordinances that would amend the City of Tiffin’s municipal charter.

The proposed ordinances, if approved by council, would result in the issues being placed on the November general election ballot for voters to decide on.

Council will consider the following ordinances, proposed by Councilman Steve Lepard, providing for submitting to the electors of the city the question of the proposed amendment(s):

  • Ordinance 21-60: An amendment to remove the reference to “Partisan Primary,” providing for the holding of open primary elections and to provide for gender neutrality in the language of those provisions.
  • Ordinance 21-61: An amendment to authorize delivery of notice of special council meetings to the mayor and members of council by e-mail to them at their city e-mail addresses, as an alternative to the other methods of delivery of notice provided to them in the charter.
  • Ordinance 21-62: An amendment to change the number of affirmative votes of members of council needed to waive the requirement of three readings of proposed ordinances or resolutions from 3/4ths to 2/3rds, as permitted by the general laws of Ohio.
  • Ordinance 21-63: Amendments to provide for publication of ordinances, resolutions, and various notices by posting on the city’s website and publishing in any newspaper or alternative sources in the city.
  • Ordinance 21-64: An amendment to clarify the procedures to be followed in the event of a vacancy in the office of mayor at different points during a term; the duration for which the president of council would serve as mayor during an unexpired term, if willing; the method of choosing a qualified elector to serve if the president of council were to refuse to serve as mayor; and the circumstances under which president of council would be restored to that office after serving as mayor temporarily.
  • Ordinance 21-65: Amendments to eliminate residency requirements for the positions of director of finance, city administrator, and assistants to the city law director, and to provide gender neutrality in the language of those provisions.
  • Ordinance 21-66: An amendment to provide that the mayor shall appoint all members of the Zoning Board of Appeals, subject to approval by council.
  • Ordinance 21-67: Amendments to expressly permit the city to utilize alternative methods of contracting and procurement, authorized by general law, to provide notice of requests for bids for procurement contracts by posting on the city’s website in addition to publication in a newspaper or alternative source, and to provide for additional methods for giving notice for the purpose of generating bids, and to provide for gender neutrality in the language of those provisions.
  • Ordinance 21-68: Amendments to clarify that candidates for all elected offices shall be nominated in an open primary, in which candidates may, at their option, set forth their party affiliation or not; to specify requirements for statements of candidacy and petitions; to provide procedures for filling a vacancy due to a death, withdrawal, or disqualification of a duly nominated candidate; circumstances in which write-in voting for an elected office may occur; and to confirm the times and method of conduct of primary, regular municipal, and special elections of the city.
  • Ordinance 21-69: An amendment to define the term “person,” as used in the charter, to mean an individual, and not a corporation, business, trust, estate, partnership, or association.
  • Ordinance 21-70: Amendments to revise and clarify language to provide gender neutrality and accurate references to the office of director of finance.

The ordinances will go through two additional readings before council votes.

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