2014 Cincinnati Issue 11: Probably Fine
November 4, 2014
If you live in the city of Cincinnati, one issue you will be able to vote on today is an amendment to the city charter, Issue 11. Current city councilman Kevin Flynn encourages us to vote for it.
The amendment makes these changes in the charter:
• Adds a general severability clause that says if one provision of the charter is found to be illegal or unenforceable, it does not adversely affect the remainder of the charter. It will replace the many redundant individual clauses currently scattered through the document.
• Creates greater opportunity for citizen input by updating the way City Council publishes legislation to allow for electronic publication or any other method reasonably calculated to reach a wide audience.
• Clarifies certain duties of the city solicitor and fixes gender-specific pronouns.
• Repeals a section requiring the appointment of a director of public utilities — a position that hasn’t existed in many years — and sections concerning the appointment of a Board of Trustees of the Sinking Fund and the Board of Rapid Transit Commissioners, neither of which have existed for decades.
• Deletes references to public financing of campaigns in the charter because citizens already prohibited such financing by initiative in 2002.
• Repeals provisions in the charter that detailed the process of the conversion of University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati General Hospital from city ownership. This was completed all the way back in 1977!
I’m not necessarily a fan of “fixing” pronouns, but the rest of it sounds uncontroversial. On the other hand, local blogger Brian Griffin says,
This wasn’t posted anywhere I could locate until October 24, 2014, about 10 days before the election. Most of the changes do appear to be non-impactful, but this doesn’t bode well for the organization that has been formed to make additional proposals for changes to the charter.