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STREETSBORO -- Several members of City Council have made it clear they do not support some or all of the charter amendments proposed originally by Mayor Glenn Broska.
Several of those proposed amendments would place additional power in the hands of the mayor, so much so that Councilman John Ruediger, believing the changes represent a strong mayor form of government, suggested placing a competing charter amendment on the ballot calling for a city manager form of government.
"Under our current form of government, we have great checks and balances system," he said. "We have a strong Council, and it works wonderfully."
Broska said he doesn't believe voters would support a city manager form of government, in which the chief executive officer of the city is hired by Council rather than elected by the people.
"A city manager in most cases is not required to live there, so he doesn't have a vested interest," said Broska. "A city manager is a ... strong Council form of government. His sole intent and purpose is to please Council so he can keep his job."
Ruediger said a city manager form of government has worked well elsewhere.
"It's worked well for a lot of cities, including Hudson and Kent," he said. "I think Council should really consider putting one more option on the ballot for a city manager form of government."
Council took no official action, but the matter may be discussed at a future meeting.
Council members who've said publicly they're against the other charter amendments include Ruediger, Councilman Jeff Allen, Councilwomen Jessica Timmons and Bridget Pavlick, and Council President Steve Michniak.
"I don't think anybody in the city should vote 'yes' on any one of these amendments," said Michniak. "I think it would destroy the checks and balances in our city."
Timmons and Allen voted against the rejected ordinance that would have sent the proposed amendments to the ballot.
To forward the amendments to the ballot, Council may set emergency meetings to pass the law in time to submit it to the Portage County Board of Elections by Aug. 9.
Kent City Manager Dave Ruller said the question of whether to adopt a city manager structure or keep an elected mayor does not have a simple answer.
"I know excellent city managers, and I know excellent mayors who have contributed to the prosperity of their communities, so I don't believe there is an inherently right or wrong answer," he said.
He said city manager governments "professionalize" leadership, enabling the city to set educational and professional requirements for the person running the city on a day-to-day basis.
Aurora Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin said that Aurora does not have a city manager and fares well.
"The system works," she said. "I also happen to believe public officials are most effective when they're elected as opposed to appointed."
Having a mayor in control also enables voters to have a larger voice in government, she added.
"From my perspective, I want to be able to hold someone accountable, and, when I elect someone, I can hold them accountable," she said.
FB: Bob Gaetjens -- Record-Courier