ARTICLE I: NAME AND
ARTICLE II: FORM OF
ARTICLE III: POWERS OF
ARTICLE IV: GENERAL
ARTICLE V: THE COUNCIL
ARTICLE VI: CITY MANAGER
BOARDS & COMMISSIONS
ARTICLE IX: ELECTIONS
ARTICLE X: FRANCHISES
INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM
ARTICLE XII: MISCELLANEOUS
We, the people of the City of Kent, Ohio, grateful to Almighty
God for the freedoms we enjoy, pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of
the State of Ohio, extending to municipalities the privilege of "Home rule" in
order to secure for ourselves and posterity practical and efficient methods in
administrating the affairs of the City, to protect the interests and insure the
continued welfare of the community and to enjoy all the privileges of local self
government, do adopt this Charter.
ARTICLE I: NAME AND BOUNDARIES
The municipal corporation now existing in the County of Portage
and State of Ohio and known as the City of Kent shall continue to be a body
politic and corporate in perpetuity under the name of the "City of Kent". The
City shall have the same boundaries that exist on the effective date of this
Charter, with power and authority to change its boundaries and annex other
territory contiguous thereto in the manner authorized by the laws of Ohio.
ARTICLE II: FORM OF GOVERNMENT
The municipal government provided by this Charter from and after
January 1, 1977 shall be known as the "Council Manager Government" (Amended 11 4
ARTICLE III: POWERS OF CITY
The City shall have all the powers granted to municipal
corporations and to cities by the Constitution and general laws of this State
together with all the implied powers necessary to carry into execution all the
powers granted. The City may acquire property within or without its corporate
limits for any City purpose, in fee simple or any lesser interest or estate, by
purchase, gift, devise, lease or condemnation, and may sell, exchange, or lease,
at public or private sale as determined by the Council, mortgage, hold, manage
and control such property as its interests may require; and except as prohibited
by the Constitution of this State or restricted by this Charter, the City shall
and may exercise all municipal powers, functions, rights, privileges and
immunities of every name and nature whatsoever. The enumeration of particular
powers by this Charter shall not be deemed to be exclusive, and in addition to
the powers enumerated therein or implied thereby, or appropriate to the exercise
of such powers, it is intended that the City shall have and may exercise all
powers which, under the Constitution or laws of this State, it would be
competent for this Charter specifically to enumerate.
All powers of the City shall be exercised in the manner
prescribed in this Charter, or if not prescribed herein, in such manner
consistent as Council may determine, or, unless a contrary intent appears in
this Charter or in the enactments of Council, in such a manner as may be
provided by the laws of Ohio. (Amended 11-7-95)
ARTICLE IV: GENERAL PROVISIONS
4.01 REMOVAL OF OFFICERS AND
Any officer, member of a board or commission, or employee of the
City shall be subject to removal in such manner as is provided now or thereafter
by this Charter, or in the general laws of Ohio. (Amended 11 5 85)
4.02 CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
No officer, official, board or commission member or employee of
the City of Kent, whether elected or appointed under the provision of the
Charter, ordinances of the City of Kent, or the general laws of Ohio shall have
any direct financial interest in any contract with the Municipality, any
expenditure of money, or the sale of any real or personal property by the
Municipality other than the fixed public compensation and reimbursable public
No employee of the City shall be appointed to the Planning
Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Assessment Equalization Board or Charter
Review Commission during the term of his or her employment (Amended 11-3-2015).
4.03 EFFECT OF THIS
CHARTER ON EXISTING LAW.
All general laws of the State of Ohio applicable to municipal
corporations now or hereafter enacted which are not in conflict with the
provisions of this Charter or with ordinances or resolutions hereafter enacted
by Council under authority of this Charter shall be applicable to this City and
all offices and departments; and nothing contained in this Charter shall be
construed as limiting the power of Council to enact any ordinance or resolution
not in conflict with the Constitutions of the United States or the State of Ohio
or the express provisions of this Charter.
All ordinances and resolutions, including zoning ordinances, in
force at the effective date of this Charter and not inconsistent with the
provisions thereof shall continue in full force and effect until amended or
repealed by Council.
4.04 AMENDING THE CHARTER.
The Charter may be amended as provided in Article XVIII, Section
9, of the Constitution of Ohio, by the submission of the proposed amendments to
the electors of the City.
If any such amendment is approved by a majority of the electors
voting thereon, it shall become a part of this Charter, except that if two or
more inconsistent proposed amendments on the same subject shall be submitted at
the same election, only the one of such amendments receiving the highest number
of affirmative votes, not less than a majority, shall become a part of this
4.05 AMENDING THE
CHARTER BY INITIATIVE PETITION
Initiative petitions for Charter changes may be circulated by
any elector or electors of the City in accordance with the Constitution of Ohio
and under the jurisdiction of the Ohio Revised Code. City Council shall not pass
any ordinance or resolution to impair the circulation and submission to the
voters of any initiative petitions for Charter changes. At least 10 percent of
the qualified electors of the City registered to vote at the next preceding
regular Municipal election must sign the initiative petitions for Charter change
prior to submission to the Clerk of the City Council. City Council shall
immediately follow procedures set forth in the Ohio Revised Code for placement
on the ballot at the next regular or special election. (Added 11-7-95)
4.06 SEPARABILITY CLAUSE.
If any section or part of section of this Charter be held
invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not affect the
remainder of this Charter nor the context in which such section or part of
section so held invalid may appear, except to the extent that an entire section
or part of section may be inseparably connected in meaning and effect with the
section or part of section to which such holding shall directly apply.
OF CONTRACTS AND PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT.
All contracts entered into by the City, or for its benefit,
prior to the taking effect of this Charter, shall continue in full force and
effect. Public improvements for which legislative steps have been taken under
laws existing at the time this Charter takes effect may be carried to completion
as nearly as practicable in accordance with the provisions of such existing
4.08 RIGHTS PRESERVED.
The adoption of this Charter shall not affect any pre existing
rights of the City, nor any right or liability either on behalf of or against
the City or any officer thereof, nor any franchise granted by the City, nor
pending proceedings for the authorization of public improvements or the levy of
4.09 CONTINUANCE OF PRESENT
Council shall provide for the appointment of the City Manager
not later than September 1, 1976 and the City Manager shall take office and
commence his or her duties January 1, 1977. The Director of Finance, the
Director of Law and all persons holding administrative office as of December 31,
1976 shall, except as otherwise provided in this Charter, continue in office
thereafter at the pleasure of the Manager and from and after such date shall
exercise their power and perform their duties in accordance with the provisions
of the Council/Manager Government.
Council shall, at its first regular meeting subsequent to
January 1, 1977, elect from among its members a Mayor in accordance with Section
5.07 of this Charter.
Except as otherwise provided in any ordinance or resolution
hereafter adopted, the Manager shall exercise all of the powers and duties of
the Mayor as provided for in any ordinance or resolution of the City enacted
prior to the adoption of this section. (Amended 11 4 75.)
4.10 STATUS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES HOLDING OFFICE WHEN THE CHARTER TAKES
The rights of officials and employees, under the Civil Service
Laws of Ohio, and the pension rights of police officers and fire officers shall
not be affected by this Charter.
4.11 TRANSFER OF RECORDS AND PROPERTY.
All records, property and equipment whatsoever of any office,
department or agency or part thereof, all the powers and duties of which are
assigned to any other office, department or agency, shall be transferred and
delivered to the department, office or agency to which such powers and duties
are so assigned. If part of the powers and duties of any office, department or
agency or part thereof are by this Charter assigned to another office,
department or agency, all records, property and equipment relating exclusively
thereto shall be transferred and delivered to the office, department or agency
to which such powers and duties are so assigned.
OF OFFICERS, DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES.
Any office, department or agency provided for in this Charter
with powers and duties the same or substantially the same as those of an office,
department or agency heretofore existing shall be deemed to be a continuation of
such office, department or agency and shall exercise its powers and duties in
continuation of their exercise by the office, department or agency by which the
same were heretofore exercised and shall have power to continue any business,
proceeding or other matter within the scope of its regular powers and duties
commenced by an office, department or agency by which such powers and duties
were heretofore exercised. Any provision in any law, rule, regulation, contract,
grant or other document relating to such a formerly existing office, department
or agency, shall so far as not inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter,
apply to such office, department or agency provided for by this Charter.
4.13 PENDING ACTIONS AND
No action or proceeding, civil or criminal, pending at the time
this Charter shall take effect, brought by or against the City or any office,
department, or agency or officer thereof, shall be affected or abated by the
adoption of this Charter or by anything therein contained; but all such actions
or proceedings may be continued notwithstanding that functions, powers and
duties of any office, department or agency or officer party thereto may, under
this Charter be assigned or transferred to another office, department or agency
or officer, but in that event, the same may be prosecuted or defended by the
head of the office, department or agency to which such functions, powers and
duties have been assigned or transferred by or under this Charter.
4.14 WHEN PROVISIONS TAKE EFFECT.
The provisions of this Charter shall become effective January 1,
1964, except that all officials elected at the regular municipal election held
on November 5, 1963, shall complete their respective terms.
ARTICLE V: THE COUNCIL & MAYOR
5.01 NUMBER, SELECTION, TERM.
Until enlarged by the procedures established by the general laws
of the State of Ohio, the Council shall be composed of seven members, three of
whom shall be elected at large and four of whom shall be elected from wards.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Council is now composed of six members elected from wards and
three members elected at large.)
During the years 1964 and 1965, the Council shall be composed of
the seven members elected to Council at the November 5, 1963, regular municipal
election, or any successor appointed to fill a vacancy.
At the regular municipal election to be held in the year 1965,
four members shall be elected from wards, one from each ward, for a two year
term expiring December 31, 1967. At the regular municipal election to be held in
the year 1965 and every fourth year thereafter, members elected at large shall
be elected for four year terms. At the regular municipal election to be held in
the year 1967 and every fourth year thereafter, members shall be elected from
wards, one from each ward, for four year terms.
All members of Council shall assume office on the first day of
January next following their election.
Council members shall be qualified electors of the City and
shall hold no other elected or appointed public office except that of notary
public, of a member of the State Militia or Reserve Corps of the Armed Forces of
the United States unless call to full-time military service therein for a period
exceeding thirty consecutive days, and a member of the City Board of Health by
appointment made pursuant to Section 8.06 of this Charter. For purposes of this
section of the Charter, the general test for determining whether a particular
position is a public office shall include the following criteria: Durability of
tenure, oath, bond, emoluments, and independency of the functions exercised by
the appointee, and the character of the duties imposed upon him. While an oath,
bond and compensation are usually elements in determining whether a position is
a public office, they are not always necessary. The chief and most decisive
characteristic of a public office is determined by the quality of the duties
with which the appointee is invested, and by the fact that such duties are
conferred upon the appointee by law. If official duties are prescribed by
statute, and their performance involves the exercise of continuing, independent,
political or governmental functions, then the position is a public office. No
other public official elected or appointed shall be eligible except those
persons employed as public school or college employees or those persons employed
as a subordinate to a public official either appointed or elected. No person
shall be eligible for election to the Council as a candidate from a ward if said
person is not at the time of nomination and of election a resident of such ward.
No person shall serve as a member of Council unless during such term of office
said individual shall continue to be a resident and a qualified elector of the
City, and if elected or appointed from a ward, shall be and continue to be a
resident of that ward. (Amended 11-7-95)
The Council shall be the judge of the election and
qualifications of its own members. It may remove any member for gross
misconduct, or malfeasance in or disqualification for office, or for conviction
while in office for a crime involving moral turpitude, or if adjudicated legally
incompetent, or for a violation of the oath of office or persistent failure to
abide by the rules of Council, or absence from three consecutive regular
meetings of the Council unless one or more of such absences shall have been
excused by the Council; provided, however that such removal shall not take place
without the affirmative vote of three-fourths of the remaining members of
Council nor until the accused member shall have been notified in writing of the
charge or charges against him or her at least fifteen days in advance of a
public hearing upon such charge or charges and the member or member's counsel
shall have been given an opportunity to be heard, present evidence, and examine,
under oath, all witnesses appearing in support of such charge or charges. The
accused member shall not vote on the question of removal. (Amended 11-7-95)
The Council shall have the power from time to time to fix the
salaries or compensation of all officers, other than Council members, and
employees and members of boards and commissions of the City, whether elected or
appointed, including the Director of Law, Director of Service, Director of
Safety, Civil Engineer or any directorships created through additional
legislation. All salaries established prior to the effective date of this
Charter shall remain in effect until changed by Council and the salary of any
officer, employee or member of a board or commission whose position shall have
been newly created by this Charter shall be the same as the salary for such
officer, employee or member of the board or commission upon which are imposed
corresponding functions, powers and duties prior to the effective date of this
Charter. Council may require any officer or employee to give bond for the
faithful performance of such officer's duties in an amount as it may determine
and with such surety as it may approve, and may from time to time require
additional bond or surety from any officer or employee, any may provide that the
premium for such bond be paid by the City.
The Council shall also have the power to fix the salaries or
compensation for all its members. Every two (2)years, prior to fixing Council
members salaries, a non partisan group of citizens shall be appointed by Council
to review and make recommendations on the salaries of the Council members.
Salary adjustments shall not take effect until the next term of the Council
members. (Amended 11 5 85.)
All legislative powers of the City shall be vested in the
VACANCIES IN COUNCIL.
In the event the office of any member of Council shall become
vacant for any reason except a permanent vacancy in the office of Mayor as
described in Section 5.07 of this Charter, the Council shall, by a majority vote
of the remaining members elected thereto, choose a successor within thirty (30)
days after such vacancy occurs. If the vacancy occurs before the expiration of
two years of the former Council member's term and more than one hundred twenty
(120) days prior to the next regular Municipal election, a successor shall be
elected to complete the unexpired term at a special election to be held on the
day of the next regular Municipal election. The appointed candidate may be a
candidate for election. (Amended 11 4 75.)
OFFICERS; MAYOR; PRESIDENT PRO TEM.
A) Separate Office. The Mayor, who shall also serve as President
of Council, shall be a qualified elector of the City and shall be elected by the
voters of the City at the regular Municipal election in the year 1977, and every
fourth (4th) year thereafter, for a term of four (4) years. The term shall
commence, and the Mayor shall assume office, on the first (1st) day of January
next following such election. The Mayor may be a candidate to succeed him or
B) Duties. The Mayor shall preside at all meetings of the
Council but shall have no voice or vote in its proceedings, except in the event
of a tie, and shall not have any other power to approve or disapprove ordinances
or resolutions. The Mayor shall be an ex officio member of all committees
created by Council; and shall be notified by the Clerk of Council of all
meetings of said committees. The Mayor shall be recognized as head of the City
government for all ceremonial purposes, but shall have no administrative duties.
C) Vacancy in Office. In case of a permanent vacancy in the
office of Mayor, the Council shall select a successor from among its members who
shall serve in that capacity only so long as such member is a duly elected
Council member. The person so selected shall not vacate such office as Council
member nor lose his or her vote. When the vacancy in the Mayor's office occurs
before the expiration of two years of the former Mayor's term and more than one
hundred twenty (120) days prior to the next regular Municipal election, a
successor shall be elected to complete the unexpired term at a special election
to be held on the day of the next regular Municipal election. The appointed
candidate may be a candidate at such election.
D) President Pro Tem. The Council shall, at the time of its
organization, elect one of its members as President Pro Tem who shall serve as
acting Mayor when the Mayor is temporarily unable for any cause or reason to
perform the duties of Mayor. The President Pro Tem shall retain his or her
voting right on Council. (Amended 11 4 75.)
CREATION OF NEW DEPARTMENTS OR OFFICES; CHANGE OF DUTIES.
The Council by ordinance may create, change and abolish offices,
departments, commissions, boards and agencies other than the offices,
departments, commissions, boards and agencies established by this Charter. The
Council by ordinance may assign additional functions or duties to officers,
departments, commissions, boards and agencies established by this Charter, but
may not discontinue or assign to any other office, department, commission, board
or agency any function or duty assigned by this Charter to a particular office,
department, commission, board or agency.
5.09 CLERK OF
The Council shall appoint a Clerk of Council who shall serve at
the pleasure of the Council and shall be a resident of the City. The Clerk of
Council shall give notice of and shall attend the meetings of Council, shall
keep the journal of its proceedings, shall authenticate by his or her signature
and record in full in a book kept for the purpose all ordinances and resolutions
and shall perform such other duties as shall be required by this Charter or by
INDUCTION OF COUNCIL INTO OFFICE, MEETINGS OF COUNCIL.
At the last regular Council meeting in December, 1981, and at
the last regular Council meeting in December of each odd numbered year
thereafter the Council shall meet for the purpose of inducting into office each
newly elected member thereof whose term of office is to commence on the first
day of January immediately thereafter. Should Council, for any reason, fail to
so meet, newly elected members thereof automatically shall take office as of
January 1 thereafter without need of oath or any other ceremony. At 7:30 o'clock
p.m. on the first Wednesday in January, 1982, and on the first Wednesday in
January of each even numbered years thereafter, unless any such Wednesday falls
on January 1 in which case this provision shall apply to the second Wednesday in
January of such year, the Council shall meet for the purpose of organizing the
Council. Thereafter, Council shall meet regularly at such times as may be
prescribed by its rules, but not less frequently than once each month. (Amended
11 4 80.)
RULES OF PROCEDURE; JOURNAL.
The Council shall determine its own rules and order of business.
It shall keep a journal of its proceedings and the journal shall be open to
public inspection. The actions of Council, including Boards and Commissions
created by Council shall be in strict compliance with Public Records and Open
Meetings (AKA: Sunshine Law) statutes as provided in the Ohio Revised Code.
In addition to such acts of the Council as are required by
statute or by this Charter to be by ordinance, every act of the Council
establishing a fine or other penalty or providing for the expenditure of funds
or for the contracting of indebtedness shall be by ordinance.
Among the acts of City Council, the following will require
enactment by ordinance:
(1) Adopt or amend an administrative code or establish,
alter or abolish any City department, office or agency.
(2) Provide for a fine or other penalty or establish a
rule or regulation for violation of which a fine or other penalty is imposed.
(3) Levy taxes.
(4) Grant, renew or extend a franchise.
(5) Regulate the rate charged for its services by a public
(6) Authorize the borrowing of money.
(7) Convey or lease or authorize the conveyance or lease of any
lands of the City.
(8) Regulate land use and development; and
(9) Amend or repeal any ordinance previously adopted.
Acts other than those referred to in the preceding sentence may
be done either by ordinance or by resolution as required by the Ohio Revised
Code. (Amended 11 6 90.)
ENACTMENT, PUBLICATION, AND EFFECTIVE DATES OF ORDINANCES.
Ordinances and resolutions of Council shall be passed,
published, posted, and become effective in the manner and at the times provided
by the general laws of Ohio then in effect, except that there need be only one
(1) newspaper publication of each ordinance or resolution, and the same need not
be published in full, but may be published by title only with a statement in
such publication that a copy of the ordinance or resolution is available for
inspection in the office of the Clerk of Council.
5.14 LIMITATION OF USE OF
That no more than 75% of the proceeds of the Kent City Income
Tax, after payment of the expense of collection and enforcement, shall be spent
for any purpose other than a capital improvement. (Amended 11 4 75.)
RECALL PETITION AND ELECTION.
The electors shall have the power to remove from office by
recall election any elected officer of the City. If an elected officer shall
have served for six months of a term, a petition demanding such officer's
removal may be filed with the Clerk of Council who shall note thereon the name
and address of the person filing the petition and the date of such filing. Such
petition shall be signed by at least that number of electors which equals 20% of
the total number of votes cast at the next preceding regular municipal election
in the City of Kent. In the case of a ward council person the required number of
electors shall equal 20% of the total number of votes cast in that ward at the
next preceding regular municipal election. Within ten days after the day on
which such petition shall have been filed, the Clerk shall determine whether or
not it meets the requirements hereof. If the Clerk shall find the petition
insufficient, the Clerk shall promptly certify the particulars in which the
petition is defective, deliver a copy of this certificate to the person who
filed the petition, and make a record of such delivery. Such person shall be
allowed a period of twenty days after the day on which such delivery was made in
which to make the petition sufficient. If the Clerk shall find the petition
sufficient, the Clerk shall promptly so certify to the Council, shall deliver a
copy of such certificate to the officer whose removal is sought, and shall make
a record of such delivery. If such officer shall not resign within five days
after the day on which such delivery shall have been made, the Council shall
thereupon fix a day for holding a recall election, not less than sixty nor more
than seventy five days after the date of such delivery. At such recall election
this question shall be placed on the ballot: "Shall (naming officer) be allowed
to continue as (naming the office)?" with provision on the ballot for voting
affirmatively or negatively on such question. If a majority of the votes cast at
such election shall be voted affirmatively, such officer shall remain in office.
If a majority of the votes cast shall be voted negatively, such officer shall be
considered as removed, the office shall be deemed vacant, and such vacancy shall
be filled as provided in this Charter. The officer removed by such recall
election shall not be eligible for appointment to the vacancy created thereby.
(Amended 11 6 90.)
The Council shall, by an affirmative vote of a majority of all
its members, appoint a City Manager for an indefinite term and fix the
compensation. The Manager shall be appointed solely on the basis of executive
and administrative qualifications. The City Manager need not be a resident of
the City or State at the time of appointment, but may reside outside the City
while in office only with the approval of the Council. (Amended 11 4 75.)
The Council may remove the Manager from office in accordance
with the following procedures:
A) The Council shall adopt by affirmative vote of a majority of
all its members a preliminary resolution which must state the reasons for
removal and may suspend the Manager from duty for a period not to exceed 45
days. A copy of the resolution shall be delivered promptly to the Manager.
B) Within five (5) days after a copy of the resolution is
delivered to the Manager, the Manager may file with the Council a written
request for a public hearing. This hearing shall be held at a Council meeting
not earlier than fifteen (15) days nor later than thirty (30) days after the
request is filed.
The Manager may file with the Council a written reply not later
than five (5) days before the hearing.
C) The Council may adopt a final resolution of removal, which
may be made effective immediately, by affirmative vote of a majority of all its
members at any time after five (5) days from the date when a copy of the
preliminary resolution was delivered to the Manager, if the Manager has not
requested a public hearing, or at any time after the public hearing if one is
The Manager shall continue to receive a salary until the
effective date of a final resolution of removal. The action of the Council in
suspending or removing the Manager shall not be subject to review by any court
or agency.(Amended 11 4 75.)
By letter filed with the Clerk of Council, the Manager shall,
within sixty (60) days of appointment, designate, subject to approval of the
Council, a qualified City Administrative officer to exercise the powers and
perform the duties of Manager during any absence or disability. During such
absence or disability, the Council may revoke such designation at any time and
appoint another qualified City administrative officer to serve until the Manager
shall return, the disability shall cease, or a new manager is appointed.
(Amended 11 4 75.)
6.04 POWERS AND DUTIES OF
THE CITY MANAGER.
The City Manager shall be the chief administrative officer of
the City. The Manager shall be responsible to the Council for the administration
of all City affairs placed in his or her charge by or under this Charter. The
Manager shall have the following powers and duties:
A) Appoint and, when he or she deems it necessary for the good
of the service, suspend or remove all City employees and appointive
administrative officers provided for by or under the Charter, except as
otherwise provided by law, the Charter, or personnel rules adopted pursuant to
this Charter. He or she may authorize any administrative officer who is subject
to the direction and supervision of the Manager to exercise these powers with
respect to subordinate officers in that department, office or agency.
B) Direct and supervise the administration of all departments,
offices and agencies of the City, except as otherwise provided by this Charter.
C) Attend all Council meetings and shall have the right to take
part in discussion but may not vote.
D) See that all laws, provisions of this Charter and acts of
Council, subject to enforcement personally or by officers subject to his or her
direction and supervision, are faithfully executed.
E) Prepare and submit to Council and make available to the
public, an annual budget providing a complete financial plan of all City funds
and activities for the ensuing fiscal year which, except as required by law or
this Charter, shall be in such form as the Manager deems desirable unless
Council requires otherwise. He or she shall explain the budget both in fiscal
terms and in terms of work programs, including any major changes from the
current year in financial policies, expenditures, and revenues, together with
the reasons for such changes, and a summary of the City's debt position.
F) Prepare and submit annually to the Council and make available
to the public, a capital program to including a list of all capital improvements
proposed, pending, or in process of construction or acquisition, with
appropriate supporting information as to the necessity for such improvements.
The capital program shall further include cost estimates, methods of financing
and recommended time schedules for each such improvement and the estimated
annual cost of operating and maintaining the facilities to be constructed or
G) Submit to the Council and make available to the public a
complete report on the finances and administrative activities of the City as of
the end of each fiscal year.
H) Make such other reports as the Council may require concerning
the operations of City departments, offices and agencies subject to his or her
direction and supervision.
I) Keep the Council fully advised as to the financial condition
and future needs of the City and make such recommendations to the Council
concerning the affairs of the City as he or she deems desirable.
J) Perform such other duties as are specified in this Charter or
may be required by the Council. (Amended 11 4 75.)
K) The City Manager shall be recognized as head of the City
government by the Governor, or other designated State of Ohio authorities, for
purposes of military law and Emergency Management, with timely notice to the
Mayor and the City Council whenever this particular authority is exercised.
ARTICLE VII: ADMINISTRATIVE
The administrative departments of the City shall consist of a Department of
Law, a Department of Finance, a Department of Service, a Department of Safety,
and such other administrative departments as may be determined necessary by
Council for the efficient operations of the services of the City in the best
interest of the public. (Amended 11 4 75.)
7.0.2 DIRECTOR OF DEPARTMENTS.
The Director of Law, the Director of Finance, the Director of Service, and
the Director of Safety, and such other administrative department heads or
directors as may be determined necessary by Council shall be under the direction
and supervision of the Manager. The Manager shall appoint and may remove all
such administrative department heads. (Amended 11 4 75.)
7.0.3 DEPARTMENTAL DIVISIONS.
The work of each administrative department may be distributed among such
divisions thereof as may be established by ordinance upon the recommendation of
the Manager. (Amended 11 4 75.)
7.0.3(A) DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
The Director of Finance shall have knowledge of accounting, taxation,
budgeting, and financial control as demonstrated by experience, education or
both. The Director shall not serve on continuous active military service in
excess of one (1) month either State or national, nor shall hold any other
public office except that of notary public or member of the State Militia or
Reserve Corps of the armed forces of the United States. (Amended 11 4 75.)
2) POWERS AND DUTIES.
The Director of Finance shall be the head of the Department of Finance, serve
as financial advisor to the administration and have authority and be required
(a) Maintain a general accounting system for the City government and
each of its offices, departments and agencies consistent with municipal
accounting practices and the law of the State of Ohio;
(b) Prepare and maintain annual income, operating and capital
estimates with a supporting annual budget for the chief administrative officer
of the City;
(c) Prepare and maintain a long range capital improvements budget
for the chief administrative officer of the City. This budget shall delineate
capital improvement projects to be undertaken by the City over a five year
period. It shall further designate priorities among those projects, the
rationale for the priorities and the anticipated modes of financing the
(d) Supervise and be responsible for the disbursement of all
moneys as authorized and in compliance with the law;
(e) Prepare for the chief administrative officer as of the
end of each fiscal year, a complete financial statement and report;
(f) Collect all taxes, assessments, license fees and other
revenues due the City or for whose collection the City is responsible, and
receive all money receivable by the City from the County, State, or Federal
government, or from any court, or from any office, department or agency of the
City, or any moneys payable to the City from any source;
(g) Have control of all public funds and investments
belonging to, or under the control of the City, or any office, department or
agency of the City government, and select depositories per the Uniform
Depository Laws of Ohio for all funds coming into the City;
(h) Examine and audit the accounts of all departments,
boards, and commissions;
(i) Perform all duties and/or functions, now or
hereafter, imposed on city auditors and treasurers by the laws of the State of
Ohio and such other duties as the chief administrative officer may impose upon
the Director consistent with the office of the Director of Finance and the
provisions of this Charter. (Amended 11 4 75.)
7.0.3(B) DIRECTOR OF LAW
The Director of Law shall be an attorney at law duly admitted to the practice
of law in the State of Ohio. (Amended 11 4 75.)
2) POWERS AND DUTIES.
The Director of Law shall serve as the chief legal adviser to the Council,
the Manager, and all City departments, offices, commissions and agencies, shall
represent the City in all legal proceedings and shall perform any other duties
prescribed by this Charter or by ordinance. (Amended 11 4 75.)
7.0.3(C) DIRECTOR OF SERVICE.
The Director of Service shall have the experience, training, and knowledge
which shall qualify him or her, in the opinion of the Manager, for the
appointment to that office.
2) DUTIES. The Director of Service shall have charge of all public works and
improvements and the construction thereof, and of all engineering and inspection
in connection therewith. The Director shall be charged with the construction,
improvement, repair and maintenance of streets, sidewalks, alleys, lanes,
bridges, and breakwalls; of water mains, pumps, systems, pipes, purification and
filtration plants, and the water distribution system; of sewers, sewage systems,
drains, ditches, culverts, streams, watercourses and all public building,
cemeteries, and other public places belonging to the City or dedicated to public
use. The Director shall manage and control cemeteries, markethouses, sewage
treatment plants, waterworks, and all public utilities of the City supported in
whole or in part by taxation, and shall enforce all the obligations of privately
owned or operated public utilities enforceable by the City. The Director shall
have charge of the making and the preservation of all surveys, maps, plans,
drawings and estimates for public work, the cleaning, resurfacing, repairing,
sprinkling and lighting of streets and public places; and the preservation of
all property belonging to the City and pertaining to the functions thereof. The
Director shall perform such other duties consistent with the office as may be
required by the Charter, by ordinance of the Council, or as directed by the
Manager. (Amended 11 4 75.)
7.0.3 (D) CIVIL
ENGINEER. (Repealed 11 4 80.)
7.0.3 (E) DIRECTOR OF SAFETY
The Director of Safety shall have the experience, training and knowledge
which shall qualify him or her, in the opinion of the Manager, for appointment
to that office.
The Director of Safety shall make all necessary rules and regulations for the
government of the Department of Safety and the several divisions thereof,
including Emergency Management, and shall be charged with the duty of enforcing
all police, health, safety and sanitary regulations that may be prescribed by
ordinances or rules of the City or the general laws of the State of Ohio. The
Director shall perform such other duties, consistent with the office, as may be
required by this Charter, by ordinance, or as directed by the Manager. (Amended
7.0.3 (F) DIRECTORS OF SERVICE AND SAFETY: CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT.
The Director of Service shall be a full-time employee of the City; the
Director of Safety shall serve whatever hours the requirements of the office
dictate. The Directors of Service and Safety shall be required to move within
the City limits within one year from their date of hire. (Amended 11-7-95)
ARTICLE VIII: BOARDS & COMMISSIONS
8.01 APPOINTMENTS TO
BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS.
Except as otherwise provided by law, all appointments to City
Boards and Commissions shall be electors of the City. This section does not
apply to the Board of Building Appeals (Amended 05-02-2006). They shall all
serve without compensation.
A) APPOINTMENT; QUALIFICATIONS; POWERS; DUTIES. (Repealed
B) SPECIFIC DUTIES ( Repealed 11-8-2005)
C) CHIEF BUILDING OFFICIAL; APPOINTMENT; DUTIES; PROBATION
PARK AND RECREATION BOARD.
The Park and Recreation Board shall consist of five (5) members
who are electors of the City. Four (4) members shall be appointed by the Council
and one (1) member shall be appointed by the Board of Education and they shall
serve without compensation for terms of five (5) years; provided, however, that
members of the present Board of Park Commissioners and Recreation Commission
shall complete their unexpired terms as the initial members of the Park and
Recreation Board. Thereafter, successors shall be appointed as follows: one (1)
by the Council for a five (5) year term commencing January 1, 1976; one (1) by
the Board of Education for a five (5) year term commencing January 1, 1977 and
one (1) by Council for a three (3) year term beginning January 1, 1977;
thereafter, each member shall be appointed for a five (5) year term and shall
continue in office until a successor is appointed.
The Board shall elect one of its own members as chairman to
serve a term of two (2) years. Vacancies on the Board shall be filled in the
same manner as original appointments were made. The organization and duties of
the Board shall be as provided for in the ordinances of Council. The Park and
Recreation Board shall be subject to the purchasing, and financial
appropriations and other regulatory ordinances or resolutions of City Council,
but shall have the power and duty to employ a Director subject, however, to the
confirmation of such employment by a majority of the members of Council, and
such other employees as are necessary to the execution of its duties and it
shall develop, control, equip, and manage playgrounds, playfields, gymnasiums,
swimming pools, indoor recreation centers and any lands or buildings owned by
the City for park or recreation purposes. The Director shall be responsible to
the Park and Recreation Board and shall not be subject to civil service. The
Park and Recreation Board may remove the Director or such other employees for
cause. (Amended 11 4 75.)
The Planning Commission shall consist of five (5) residents of
the City appointed by Council who shall serve without compensation. Council may
also appoint ex officio, non voting members by ordinance. A member of the
Planning Commission serving on January 1, 1978, may complete the term of his or
her original appointment, but in the event of the death or resignation of such
member, Council shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the terms of
that member. Subsequent appointments shall be for a term of five (5) years and
the expiration of the terms shall be on a one year staggered interval basis.
The Planning Commission will have all the rights and powers
granted to it by the laws of Ohio or ordinances of the City or this Charter.
The Planning Commission shall adopt such rules and requirements
for plats and the laying out of allotments as is deemed necessary and advisable,
subject to Council approval. Such rules and requirements shall be placed on file
in printed or typewritten form in the office of the Director of Public Service.
The Planning Commission may control, appoint, or employ such
architects, engineers or other professional service and may appoint such clerks,
draftsmen or other subordinates as are necessary for the performance of its
function. The expenditures for such service and employments shall be within the
amounts appropriated for such persons by the legislative authority of the
municipal corporation and such legislative authority shall provide for the
expenses and accommodations necessary for the work of the Commission (Amended 11
8.05 BOARD OF
The Board of Control shall consist of three (3) members: the
Manager, the Chair of Council's Finance Committee and another member of Council.
The Manager shall act as Chairperson of this Board. The Board shall keep a
record of its proceedings. All votes shall be by yeas and nays entered. in the
record, and the vote of a majority of all members of the Board shall be
necessary to adopt any question, motion or order.
No contract in any department, board or commission of the City
in excess of the statutory limit defined by the Ohio Revised Code, shall be
awarded except on approval of the Board of Control. (Amended 11-8-2005.)
8.06 ESTABLISHMENT OF A BOARD
A) The Board of Health of this City shall be composed of six (6)
members, to be appointed by Council. One of the members of the Board shall be a
councilperson appointed on a biennial basis by Council; said council member
would be a voting member. No member of the Board shall serve more than two (2)
full terms consecutively (Amended 11-5-1985).
A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a
quorum. The Board shall elect one of its members to serve as President of the
Board and such other officers as in the opinion of the Board shall be required.
The Health Commissioner by virtue of his or her office shall
serve as Secretary and the only ex officio, non voting member of the Board.
(Amended 11 6 90.)
The Board of Health of the City may make such orders and
regulations as it deems necessary for its own government for the public health,
the prevention or restrictions of disease and the prevention, abatement or
suppression of nuisances. Orders and regulations not for the government of the
Board, but intended for the general public shall be adopted, advertised,
recorded and certified as are ordinances of the City and the record thereof
shall be given the same force and effect as is given such ordinances. However,
in case of emergency caused by epidemic or contagious or infectious diseases, or
conditions or events endangering the public health, the board may declare such
orders and regulations to be emergency measures, and such orders and regulations
shall become effective immediately without such advertising, recording and
certifying. (Added 6 7 77.)
A Charter Review Commission of fifteen (15) members shall be
appointed by Council in January, 1975 and each ten years thereafter to study,
appraise and evaluate the operation of this Charter. The Commission shall
recommend to Council amendments, if any, to said Charter, which they deem
desirable or necessary.
The Council shall meet to consider all recommendations of the
Commission, and after due deliberation and consideration thereof, the Council
shall determine which amendments, if any, shall be submitted to the electorate
for approval. (Amended 11 6 90.)
ARTICLE IX: ELECTIONS
TIME FOR HOLDING ELECTIONS.
Regular municipal elections shall be held on the first Tuesday
after the first Monday of November in each odd numbered year commencing with the
year 1965. Such other elections shall be held as may be required by law or
authorized by this Charter. Any matter which, by the terms of this Charter may
be submitted to the electors at any special election, may be submitted at the
time of a primary or general election.
GENERAL LAWS TO APPLY.
Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, the general laws
of the State of Ohio shall govern the procedure for the nomination and election
of the elective officers of the City and the method of holding and conducting
No grant, or renewal thereof, to construct and operate a public
utility in the streets and public grounds of the City shall be made by the City
Council to any individual, company or corporation in violation of any of the
limitations in this Charter.
10.02 PERIOD OF
No such grant shall be exclusive, nor shall it be made for a
longer period than 20 years from its effective date. No grant shall be renewed
earlier than two years prior to its expiration unless the City Council shall by
a vote of at least two thirds (2/3rds) of its members first declare by ordinance
its intention of considering a renewal thereof. All grants of the rights to make
extensions of any public utility shall be subject as far as practicable to the
terms of the original grant and shall expire therewith.
EXTENSION BY ANNEXATION.
It shall be provided in every such grant that upon the
annexation of any territory to the City the portion of any such utility that may
be located within such annexed territory and upon the streets, alleys, or public
grounds thereof, shall thereafter be subject to all the terms of the grant as
though it were an extension made thereunder.
All grants shall be subject to the right of the City, whether in
terms reserved or not, to control at all times the distribution of space in,
over, under or across all streets, alleys or public grounds occupied by public
utility fixtures, and when in the opinion of the City Council the public
interest so requires, such fixtures may be caused to be reconstructed,
relocated, altered or discontinued.
ARTICLE XI: INITIATIVE AND
A) Initiative. The qualified electors of the City shall have
power to propose ordinances and resolutions to the Council and, if the Council
fails to adopt an ordinance or resolution so proposed without any change in
substance, to adopt or reject it at an election, in the manner hereinafter
provided, provided that such power shall not extend to the budget or capital
program or any ordinance or resolutions relating to appropriation of money, levy
of taxes or salaries of City officers or employees.
B) Referendum. The qualified electors of the City shall have
power to require reconsideration by the Council of any adopted ordinance or
resolution and, if the Council fails to repeal an ordinance so reconsidered, to
approve or reject it at an election, in the manner hereinafter provided,
provided that such power shall not extend to the budget or capital program or
any emergency ordinance or resolution or to any ordinance or resolution relating
to appropriation of money or levy of taxes. (Amended 11 4 75.)
11.02 COMMENCEMENT OF PROCEEDINGS; PETITIONERS' COMMITTEE; AFFIDAVIT.
Any five qualified electors may commence initiative or
referendum proceedings by filing with the Clerk of Council an affidavit stating
they will constitute the petitioners' committee and any number of qualified
electors will be responsible for circulating the petition and filing it in
proper form, stating their names and addresses and specifying the address to
which all notices to the committee are to be sent, and setting out in full, the
proposed initiative ordinance or resolution or citing the ordinance or
resolution sought to be reconsidered. Any number of qualified electors may
circulate the petition.
Promptly after the affidavit of the petitioners' committee is
filed the Clerk of Council shall issue the appropriate petition blanks to the
petitioners' committee. (Amended 11-7-95)
A) Number of Signatures. Initiative and referendum petitions
must be signed by qualified electors of the City equal in number to at least 10
per cent of the number of electors who voted for governor at the most recent
general election for the office of governor (Amended 11-3-2015).
B) Form and Content. All papers of a petition shall be uniform
size and style and shall be assembled as one instrument for filing. Each
signature shall be executed in ink or indelible pencil and shall be followed by
the address of the person signing. Petitions shall contain or have attached
thereto throughout their circulation, the full text of the ordinance or
resolution proposed or sought to be reconsidered.
C) Affidavit of Circulator. Each paper of a petition shall have
attached to it when filed an affidavit executed by the circulator thereof
stating that he or she personally circulated the paper, the number of signatures
thereon, that all signatures were affixed in the presence of the circulator,
that he or she believes them to be the genuine signatures of the persons whose
names they purport to be and that each signer had an opportunity before signing
to read the full text of the ordinance or resolution proposed or sought to be
D) Time for Filing Referendum Petitions. Referendum petitions
must be filed within 30 days after adoption by the Council of the ordinance or
resolution sought to be reconsidered. (Amended 11 4 75.)
E) Filing of Referendum Petitions. Petitions shall be filed with
the Clerk of Council. (Added 11 6 90.)
11.04 PROCEDURE AFTER FILING.
A) Certificate of Clerk of Council; Amendment. Within twenty
days after the petition is filed, the Clerk of Council shall complete a
certificate as to its sufficiency, specifying, if it is insufficient the
particulars wherein it is defective and shall promptly send a copy of the
certificate to the petitioners' committee by registered mail. A petition
certified insufficient for lack of the required number of valid signatures may
be amended once as to the number of valid signatures if the petitioners'
committee files a notice of intention to amend it with the Clerk of Council
within two days after receiving the copy of his or her certificate and files a
supplementary petition upon additional papers within ten days after receiving
the copy of such certificate. Such supplementary petition shall comply with the
requirements of subsections B and C of Section 11.03, and within five days after
it is filed the Clerk of Council shall complete a certificate as to the
sufficiency of the petition as amended and promptly send a copy of such
certificate to the petitioners' committee by registered mail as in the case of
an original petition. If a petition or amended petition is certified sufficient,
or if a petition or amended petition is certified insufficient and the
petitioners' committee does not elect to amend or request Council review under
subsection (b) of this section within the time required, the Clerk of Council
shall promptly present such certificate to the Council and the Certificate shall
then be a final determination as to the sufficiency of the petition.
B) Council Review. If a petition has been certified insufficient
and the petitioners' committee does not file notice of intention to amend it or
if an amended petition has been certified insufficient, the committee may,
within two days after receiving the copy of such certificate, file a request
that it be reviewed by the Council. The Council shall review the certificate at
its next meeting following the filing of such request and approve or disapprove
it, and the Council's determination shall then be a final determination as to
the sufficiency of the petition.
C) Court Review; New Petition. A final determination as to the
sufficiency of a petition shall be subject to court review. A final
determination of insufficiency, even if sustained upon court review, shall not
prejudice the filing of a new petition for the same purpose. (Amended 11 4 80.)
A) Action by Council. When an initiative or referendum petition
has been finally determined sufficient, the Council shall promptly consider the
proposed initiative ordinance or resolution in the manner provided in Article
VII or reconsider the referred ordinance or resolution by voting its repeal. If
the Council fails to adopt a proposed initiative ordinance or resolution without
any change in substance within 60 days or fails to repeal the referred ordinance
or resolution within 30 days after the date the petition was finally determined
sufficient, it shall submit the proposed or referred ordinance or resolution to
the voters of the City.
B) Submission to Voters. The election on a proposed or referred
ordinance or resolution shall be held not less than 30 days and not later than
one year from the date of the final Council vote thereon. If no regular election
is to be held within the period prescribed in this subsection, the Council shall
provide for a special election; otherwise, the vote shall be held at the same
time as such regular Municipal election, except that the Council may, in its
discretion, provide for a special election at an earlier date within the
prescribed period. Copies of the proposed or referred ordinance or resolution
shall be made available at each polling place in the City. (Amended 11 6 90.)
RESULTS OF ELECTION.
A) Initiative. If a majority of the qualified electors voting on
a proposed initiative ordinance or resolution vote in its favor, it shall be
considered adopted upon certification of the election results and shall be
treated in all respects in the same manner as ordinance or resolutions of the
same kind adopted by the Council. If conflicting ordinances or resolutions are
approved at the same election, the one receiving the greatest number of
affirmative votes shall prevail to the extent of such conflict.
B) Referendum. If a majority of the qualified electors voting on
a referred ordinance or resolution vote against it, it shall be considered
repealed upon certification of the election results. (Amended 11 4 75. )
The article and section headings herein have been inserted for
convenience in reference and are not intended to define or limit the scope of,
or otherwise affect, any provision of this Charter.
Whenever the Charter requires the affirmative vote of a stated
fraction of the Council, the multiplicand shall be the total number of
authorized members of Council reduced by the number of vacancies then existing
The period of residence in the Municipality required by this
Charter as a qualification for elective office shall include the period of
residence in any territory which has been annexed to the City. (Amended 11 4
12.02 VOTING WARD
Commencing as early as practicable in the year 1971, and every
ten years thereafter, Council shall determine by census the resident population
of each ward, and shall apportion them equally, and, if necessary, shall
redefine the boundaries thereof, so that there is no disparity, in resident
population, of more than 10% between wards; provided, however, that this shall
in no way limit, nor preclude, an increase in the number of wards, and further
provided that each ward shall be comprised of compact and contiguous territory.
(Added 5 5 70.)
REARRANGEMENT AND REPRINTING OF CHARTER.
Following any election at which any amendment to this Charter is
adopted, the Clerk of Council, with the approval of Council and the Director of
Law, may, prior to any reprinting of this Charter, make such changes therein,
including the numbers, titles and arrangement of articles, sections hereof, and
typographical corrections as may be necessary or desirable to maintain or assure
the logical and consistent ordering thereof, but no such change shall, in any
way, affect the substance or meaning of this Charter or any part thereof or
amendment thereto. (Added 11-8-2005.)
12.04 LOCATION OF
The location of meetings held by Kent City Council, City boards,
and commissions shall be within the city corporation limits in facilities that
will allow the free flow of information to the public. The approved exceptions
to this requirement are as follows: Declared disasters necessitating locations
outside of the city for public safety reasons, joint meetings with other Public
Legislative bodies and meetings in which no city business is discussed and is
intended for educational or recreational purposes only. If this Charter rule is
violated then any and all formal actions taken shall be considered null and
void. (Added 11-8-2005)
12.05 DEMOCRACY DAY PUBLIC
Beginning in 2016, City Council shall designate one day a
"Democracy Day" during the first week of October each year in which a local,
state, or national election is held in Kent. On this day, the Mayor and City
Council shall sponsor a Public Hearing in a public space within the City. The
public hearing shall be held during the evening or weekend time. The City will
publicize the public hearing on its website and in area media at least one month
in advance. The Public Hearing shall examine the impact on our City, our state
and our nation of political influence resulting from campaign contributions by
corporate entities. Corporate entities include business corporations, Political
Action Committees, PACS, Super PACs, 501 c4 groups and unions. Members of the
general public in attendance shall be afforded the opportunity to speak on these
matters for up to five minutes per person. The City shall record the minutes of
the hearing and make them available to the public no later than November 1 of
each year in which it is held by posting them on the City’s website.
Within one (1) week following the annual Public Hearing, the
Clerk of City Council shall send a letter to every elected state-level
representative of the citizens of the City, to the leaders of the Ohio House and
Senate, to our U.S. Congressional Representative(s), and to both U.S. Senators
from Ohio. The letter shall include a brief summary of the Public Hearing and
will state that the citizens of Kent in November 2015 voted in support of a
Citizens’ Initiative calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution declaring
the following principles:
1. Only human beings, not corporations, are legal persons with
Constitutional rights, and
2. Money is not equivalent to speech, and therefore, regulating
political contributions and spending does not equate to limiting political
The annual Public Hearings will no longer be required if and
when a Constitutional Amendment reflecting the principles set forth in Section
02 is ratified by three-quarters (3/4) of the state legislatures.