Piqua voters to see 9 charter amendments on Nov. ballot


By Eamon Baird

[email protected]

PIQUA — There will be nine charter amendments for residents of Piqua to vote on in the upcoming general election on Tuesday, Nov. 7. For every amendment, a majority affirmative (yes) vote will be necessary for passage.

The charter amendments that will be on the ballot, with a brief description, are:

• Section 4 – Meetings of the City Commission: The proposal for this amendment is to change the year’s first meeting from 7:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday in January. Currently, regularly scheduled commission meetings begin at 6 p.m., and the passage of this amendment would be more consistent with the current schedule of Piqua meetings.

• Section 31 – Responsibility of manager – powers of appointment and removal: Frank Patrizio, city attorney of Piqua, explained the benefit of this amendment gives the city manager additional time to hire a permanent replacement for various city positions, which is currently 60 days.

“It is sometimes difficult to go through the hiring process in 60 days and obtain good candidates,” Patrizio said. “This change gives the city manager an extra 30 days to hire the best-qualified person for the job.

Additionally, the passage of this amendment would change to a more inclusive language from the pronoun “his” to “his and her” when appropriate.

• Section 46 – Division of purchase and supplies: This would permit the city of Piqua’s competitive purchasing powers to follow the state law for statutory cities when purchasing items.

“The change in this section eliminates any confusion and won’t effectively change how purchasing is done in the city. Also, the state statute recently changed, and the city does not have to seek bids for various services in excess of $75,000,” Patrizio said.

• Section 61 – Contracts: If passed, charter 61 would be deleted to permit Piqua public works projects to follow state law for statutory cities when bidding on public works projects. Patrizio said the language of this contract is like section 46, and most contracts over $75,000 would be bid out.

• Section 67 – Special police officer: Police officers who work in schools are considered part-time threat officers and work under a six-month contract, which means they are forced to be rehired every six months. The passage of this amendment would mean the police chief or city manager could hire these police officers for a longer duration instead of every six months. If passed, the language would also be changed from “policeman” to “police officer” for more to be more inclusive.

• Section 94 – City Planning Commission: This amendment would allow the city manager to designate any staff member as an ex-officio planning commission member. Patrizio added that an ex-officio member does not have any voting rights on the planning commission.

• Section 116 – Nominating petition papers: Patrizio said the changes were recommended because there has been some confusion about what forms candidates must submit to the board of elections to run for city commission. He also adds that section 115 states that no one running for commission can be affiliated with a political party.

“The recommended change just changes the petition form to match the form given out by the state of Ohio for non-partisan cities,” Patrizio said.

• Section 121 – Filing recall petition: This measure was adopted in 2011, which increased the signatures needed for a recall election to jump from 50 signatures to 2,000. If passed, this would lower the number of signatures required to 1,250 signatures.

• Section 127 – Limitations on recall petitions: Patrizio explained the reasoning for this amendment, dealing with the first six months and last six months of a commissioner’s term.

“The reason for the change in this section is that it was generally believed that if the community is not happy with a commission during the last six months of a term, they can vote at the November election and remove the commissioner,” Patrizio said.

Patrizio added the language for preventing recalls during the first six months of a commissioner’s term is currently in the charter.

No posts to display