City Charter: Issues 25 & 26

History and Background

The original City of Hilliard Charter was adopted in 1963 to serve as Hilliard’s municipal government constitution. Since then, the Charter has been revised four times with voter approval in 1981, 1993, 2009 and 2018.

In 2017, the City of Hilliard convened a commission comprised of community residents to perform a review of the City Charter and make recommendations for changes to reflect our evolving community.

In 2018 City Council began reviewing recommendations from the Charter Commission. As a result of that review, Council placed an issue on the November 2018 General Election, asking voters to decide whether it was the community’s will to convert from a Council-Mayor form of government to a Council-City Manager system.

Voters approved that change in Hilliard’s form of government, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020, as Hilliard’s fourth amendment to the charter.

In the meantime, City Council continued to review the remaining recommendations of the Charter Commission, as well as the general language in the version of this document that had been approved in 2009.

In June 2019, City Council voted on Ordinance 18-26 (Amended) and in July 2019 Ordinance 19-13 (Amended), placing two issues on the November 5, 2019, General Election ballot.

Registration and voting

The general election is Nov. 5. Military and overseas absentee voting begins Sept. 20. Absentee and early in-person voting begins Oct. 8.

All registered voters living within City of Hilliard corporation boundaries may vote on these amendments. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 7. For information and to register to vote, contact Franklin County Board of Elections on its website: https://vote.franklincountyohio.gov/

Council-City Manager form of government

In 2018, Hilliard voters approved Charter amendments that will change Hilliard’s form of government from a Council-Mayor system to a Council-City Manager system.

At the time, City Council was still in the process of evaluating numerous recommendations from the last Charter Review Commission. Council decided to place the City Manager question on the November 2018 ballot because the incumbent mayor’s term of office ends at the end of 2019.

Ballot Issues

On Nov. 5, registered voters in the City of Hilliard will be asked to cast their ballot on proposed amendments to the charter, the document that serves as the City’s governing constitution.

Voters will decide two separate issues, Issue 25 and Issue 26. If approved by voters, the changes would take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

The City will mail a printed copy of all proposed changes to every registered Hilliard voter. You can also read the revised City Charter at the link below.

Important Documents

New Issues

This issue covers modifications to language throughout the Charter that represent changes to City policies and practices, as well as language “clean-up” performed for clarification and grammatical correctness.

Among the topics covered under Issue 25 are amendments that would allow City Council to enter into executive session to discuss topics related to economic development and an amendment reducing the required number of Council readings for proposed ordinances from three to two.

Voters are encouraged to review all proposed language changes in order to make an informed decision on Nov. 5, 2019.

If passed, this amendment would eliminate partisan primaries for future City Council elections.

Under the current Charter, each party selects its candidates during a spring primary. The top vote recipients from each party are placed on the ballot for the general election the following November. The maximum number selected from each party is either three or four candidates, depending on the number of open seats in the following general election.

If approved, Issue 26 would eliminate partisan primaries for City Council. All candidates who meet the eligibility requirements to run for City Council would appear on the ballot in the November general election, without party affiliation. All candidates would have to file petitions consistent with state law with the Board of Elections to be a candidate in the regular municipal election.

Frequently Asked Questions

The general election is November 5, 2019. Military and overseas absentee voting begins September 20, 2019. Absentee and early in-person voting begin October 8, 2019.

All registered voters living within City of Hilliard corporation boundaries may vote on these amendments. The deadline to register to vote is October 7, 2019. For information and to register to vote, contact Franklin County Board of Elections on its website: https://vote.franklincountyohio.gov/

The 2018 Charter amendment asked voters to determine whether they wanted to modify the City’s of Hilliard’s form of government from Mayor-Council to Council-City Manager. Council was still in the process of evaluating numerous recommendations from the Charter Review Commission in 2018, but determined that it made sense to ask voters about the proposed change in our form of government as a separate issue. In part, the timing of that decision had to do with the end of mayor’s term of office at the end of 2019.

Many communities have eliminated party primary elections from municipal elections.

No, each issue is independent.

January 1, 2020.