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A Ravenna panel charged with recommending changes to the city's charter has put off the big question of a city manager, at least for now.
Tyler Marovich, chairman of the Ravenna Charter Review Commission, said the commission did discuss the idea of a city manager, bringing in elected officials in Ravenna as well as interviewing city managers from other towns, such as Kent. Ultimately, however, the panel believed its time was best spent reviewing the existing charter.
"We feel it is an idea worthy of consideration," he said of a city-manager form of government. "The members who are interested in that idea will re-convene as private citizens at a later date."
A city-manager form of government combines elected officials in the form of a council with the managerial experience of a government manager who is hired by council. Ravenna operates under a council-mayor form of government in which the council is elected by the voters as is the mayor, who serves as the city's chief executive.
The charter review commissioner has presented City Council with four changes to the charter, all minor tweaks to existing language.
Marovich said the first charter change deals with notification of special meetings of council, allowing "contemporary forms of information sharing," such as e-mail. That, he said, eliminates the need for police to hand-deliver notifications as spelled out in the charter.
The second cleans up language for the terms of city council members and when they are elected to make the language more readable, while making no changes in the substance of that part of the charter.
The third allows the clerk of city council to live outside the city limits, since by state law it is illegal to require city employees to live within the city limits. The current clerk of council, Kathy Hahn, is a resident of Charlestown.
The fourth change adds spouses and domestic partners to the list of immediate family members of elected officials who may not serve on the Charter Review Commission. Members of the commission, Marovich said, found it ironic that while a mayor's parent, sibling, child or grandchild could not serve on the commission, his wife could do so.
Ravenna City Council will discuss the changes on July 24 and on Aug. 7, with a goal of putting the issues on the ballot in November. Voters will then have the chance to approve or turn down the changes.