The document that defines the City organization was up for review in 2018. The City Charter is the most important legal document for the City, setting forth the structure, functions and essential procedures of the organization. Per a directive within the Charter itself, a review must be made at least every 10 years.
A Charter Review Commission, comprised of 10 members, met from January through early June. Suggestions from Commission members and the public determined which sections were reviewed, and public input was taken at all but the first meeting. Members of the Commission and the public were able to suggest which sections of the Charter should be reviewed by the group, instead of reviewing the entire document in depth, since it was agreed the Commission would approach its task from the perspective that relatively few changes would likely be recommended.
In June, the Commission recommended nine amendments to the Charter be put to a vote of the community at the November 6, 2018 election. Council reviewed these recommendations in July and concurred with the Commission’s recommendations, with adjustments to one proposal.
The City thanks the following community volunteers for their time and efforts spent reviewing the City Charter: John C. Adams (Chair), Bob Dunn, Megan Heydlauff, Mary Ann Krauss, Maria Mone, Matt Petersen, Jon Secrest, Rich Simpson, Elizabeth Fenner Yassenoff and Julie Bruce Zogbaum.
In the countdown to the election, please watch for additional information from the City relative to the proposed amendments. And as always, the City encourages you to be informed and to vote November 6. For details of this and other items on the November 6, 2018 ballot, visit the Franklin County Board of Elections.
- Section II – stating that Council may determine the effective date of any ordinance, resolution or other measure, consistent with current Council Rules;
- Section III – to clarify language relative to which legislative acts are subject to referendum, consistent with current Council Rules;
- Section IV – a recommendation to amend how a vacancy on City Council is filled, setting parameters for the appointment timeframe following a vacancy, and election requirements if the appointment is made before June 30 of the last two years of an unexpired term (the Commission had recommended three years but Council reduced the timeframe to two years);
- Section V – to extend a conflict of interest provision for Council candidates and Council members, disqualifying them from eligibility to serve as City Manager, City Attorney or City Clerk for at least two years following an election or the end of their term on Council;
- Section VIII – to remove a specific time of day requirement on the day that Council members are sworn into office;
- Section XI – to remove a requirement of physically delivering written notice of special meetings to Council members’ homes and permitting electronic transmittal in its place;
- Section XI – to authorize Council’s use of Consent Agendas and to clarify the requirements for holding executive sessions, pursuant to State law and City ordinances;
- Section XII – to clarify the permitted interaction between Council members and City staff;
- Section XIV – recommending that the Clerk of Courts position be deleted as a direct report to City Council, since this position is now overseen by the City Manager.
To view the proposed Charter amendments in detail, see the Associated Documents section and click on the link for Ordinance #55-2018.
The Charter of the City of Upper Arlington is considered the most important legal document for the City, since it defines the organization, its structure, functions and essential procedures. The City Charter must be reviewed by a Council-appointed Commission of at least seven members once every 10 years at a minimum. Any proposed amendments to the Charter require a vote of the residents of Upper Arlington.
Any emerging recommendations from a Commission for possible amendments to the Charter must be made to City Council. Council then determines if the proposed amendments have merit and should be put to a vote at the next General Election.
- The first Village Charter was adopted in 1919, with a commission form of government;
- Upper Arlington was incorporated as a City in 1941 when its population exceeded 5,000 residents.
- In 1956, citizens voted to amend the City Charter, adopting a Council-Manager form of government.
- Updates to the City Charter were last made in 1998. No changes were recommended from a 2008 review.
For documents pertaining to the work of the Charter Review Commission, including meeting agendas, minutes and reports, search our Archives Portal – Charter Review Commission.
- City Charter
- Charter Review Legal Ad (PDF 76KB)
- Issue 34 Brochure – Charter Ballot Issue (PDF 169KB)
- Ordinance #55-2018 – to submit to the electorate proposed amendments to the City Charter. This document includes the proposed amendment language.
- Charter Review Commission Report to City Council (located in our Archives Portal).
If you have questions about the proposed City Charter amendments, please complete the online form below.