Thanks to Lobbyist Arzella for this information from the News-Herald. All I can say is….hmmm…right, and they would never put a continuous levy on the ballot either…..the evil of increasing government works in incremental steps…(I updated my comment based on Mr. Andy Rose’s belief that I was calling the trustees evil – that was not the intent of my initial post)
Concord’s Limited government…..an oxymoron to be sure…
Monday, September 10, 2018
Concord Township is about to gain some broader powers.
Township trustees last month passed a resolution adopting a limited home rule government which will go into effect 30 days from the Aug. 22 special meeting.
Limited home rule is an extension of township governance initially granted in 1991 by the legislature (House Bill 77) of then-Gov. George Voinovich, following prescribed procedures detailed in Ohio Revised Code.
Limited home rule grants extensive powers allowing a township and its residents to be more proactive in creating legislation of benefit to those in the community. It also permits townships to pass resolutions to improve health, safety and the welfare of its citizens.
Township Administrator Andy Rose said the township cannot exercise any power conflicting with general laws of the state. According to Rose, types of legislation permissible under limited home rule include, but are not limited to, adopting property maintenance codes; establishing speed limits on township roads; passing nuisance resolutions; broader powers to regulate junk vehicles; passing curfew restrictions; regulation of noxious weeds, brush and litter; and broader power to deal with other political subdivisions, to name a few.
“The action brings no tax other than as authorized under the general laws,” Rose said, then reiterated. “A township-wide income tax cannot be imposed.”
The adoption of limited home rule, Rose continued, may not:
• Encroach upon the powers, duties and privileges of elected township officials
• Modify structural changes in township government
• Create a criminal offense of impose criminal penalties
• Impose civil fines other than authorized
• Establish or revise subdivision regulations, road construction standards, urban sediment rules or storm water drainage regulation
• Establish or revise building codes or standard or other standard codes except where authorized
• Establish regulations affecting hunting, trapping, fishing, or the possession, use, or sale of firearms
• Establish or revise water or sewer regulations except as stated
“This is something the board of trustees has looked at for about a decade now,” said Trustee Chris Galloway. “There are a couple of townships in Trumbull County that have adopted limited home rule a number of years ago, as well as townships in southwest and northwest Ohio. For whatever reason, Northeast Ohio has been slow in adopting limited home rule versus other parts of the state. I know Howland Township and Boardman Township were early adopters of it.”
Under Ohio Revised Code, the resolution requires a unanimous vote to go into effect and must remain in effect for a minimum period of no less than three years.
The resolution can be repealed, if the township chooses, but Galloway said no township in the state that has adopted limited home rule has repealed it. Townships can choose when to use limited home rule authorities in terms of the resolutions that will be passed.
“This (action) allows us to have additional tools in the toolbox,” said Trustee Paul Malchesky. “This allows the township to have more powers offered by the Ohio Revised Code. Under limited home rule power, we’re going to have a different format of how we’re going to adopt an additional resolution, categorized separately.”
Trustee Connie Luhta concurred with Malchesky. “I’ve had calls over the years from residents wanting us to do something that we are not allowed to do but would be allowed to do under home rule,” she said. “I think those residents will appreciate this.”
Galloway stressed that establishing limited home rule grants trustees additional abilities to serve residents, and that in no manner whatsoever is the adoption of the resolution “the first step in becoming a city.”
“In fact, it’s the opposite of that,” he said. “This is a way for us to further strengthen our authorities as a township government and further cement our status as a township. This is not a step towards becoming incorporated. More importantly, this allows us in the future to take advantage of authorities that may be granted under these statutes by the legislature.
“The timing is right. We’re knocking on 20,000 residents, making us the largest township in Northeast Ohio. We have a diversity of neighborhoods, we have a growing commercial corridor and we have a joint economic development district. This is going to help us, and future trustees, continue to move Concord forward.
“I would urge our fellow townships in Lake County to adopt this and join us,” he said. “The Ohio Township Association is very encouraging of this governance.”