City of Kirtland Charter Review Committee Announces Public Hearing
MAY 22, 2020 – KIRTLAND, OHIO – 2020 marks the Golden Anniversary of the Charter of the City of Kirtland. On November 3, 1970 the people of Kirtland approved their first city charter. We have been operating under that Charter, with a few revisions, for the last 50 years.
A charter is, in essence, a constitution for a municipality. It establishes a structure and framework for a municipal government. Our Charter provides that at the beginning of each decade a committee is to be appointed and, if appropriate, the Committee shall update the City Charter. Each Charter Review Committee is appointed by the Mayor subject to approval by Council. The nine-member committee is composed of two electors from each of the City’s four wards plus one at-large member. Kirtland’s last committee met in 2010.
The 2020 committee was appointed by Mayor Kevin Potter and confirmed by City Council on February 3, 2020. The first meeting was held in Council Chambers on March 3. The next meeting was also scheduled for Council Chambers for March 18. Then the Covid-19 pandemic struck. The March 18 meeting had to be cancelled. Ohio law was revised in March to permit virtual public meetings. Since then all Charter Review Committee meetings have been virtual. The public was invited to watch, listen and participate in each virtual meeting. The Committee solicited comments from all elected city officials, department heads and several civic leaders.
The 2020 Charter Review Committee has completed its analysis. While many potential changes to the Charter were considered, The Committee has recommended three revisions:
- Eliminate the Lake County residency requirement for directors of city departments to align our Charter with Ohio law which prohibits such restrictions;
- Give the Mayor discretion to appoint a charter review committee more often than once per decade; and
- Revise the procedure for approving a change in zoning classification or zoning district to eliminate the requirement for voter approval.
To explain all the proposed changes and address any questions from Kirtland residents, a public hearing will be held at 7 PM on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Because of the pandemic that meeting must be virtual. After hearing from the public, the Committee’s final recommendations will be submitted to City Council. Council will arrange to have the recommendations appear on the November General Election ballot.
A copy of the City Charter with all proposed amendments highlighted is available at the City of Kirtland website, www.kirtlandohio.com.
Interested citizens are invited to access the Zoom meeting using the website link: https://zoom.us/j/4402563332. Meeting ID of 440 256 3332. Alternately, residents can attend audibly only by dialing (312) 626-6799 and input the meeting ID of 440 256 3332.