By Branden Ferguson, Multimedia Video Journalist - bio | email
OTTAWA, OHIO -
After serving as mayor for the village of Ottawa for 19 years, Kenneth Maag resigned. As a result, Council President Dean Meyer was promoted to mayor. At Monday night's charter review advisory committee, that situation was discussed as well as who could serve on council.
Current language in Ottawa's charter says when the council president takes the office of mayor, or when a vacant council seat is filled, the individual is to complete the current term. Law Director Joe Schroeder is now faced with the task of changing that legislation to benefit voters. Schroeder has been asked to change language in the charter to state that the replacement will serve until the next general election, allowing voters to fill the vacant seat with a candidate of their choosing.
Mayor Dean Meyer says charter review is just something that needs to be done every now and again. He says nothing is wrong with the current charter, it just needs looked over, similar to an oil change on a car that runs just fine.
Also discussed was the possibility of allowing firefighters or police officers to serve as council members. The issue was quickly shot down due to a potential conflict of interest, as council votes on department budgets and workers comp claims.
Upon completing charter review, a report will be submitted to council on May 20th, and after review, council would vote on the changes in June.