Bill Frost, President (513-456-1003)
Bob Dehner, Finance Director
Joan Perkins, Admin Asst
Carolyn B. Miller
BOARD MEMBER WORKING COMMITTEES
Issues Committee responds to upcoming ballot issues as well as focusing on issues of general community concern
Endorsement Committee identifies good government candidates.
Board Development Committee identifies and interviews good government Cincinnatians to serve as a Charter board member.
Centenary Committee Planning and executing the 2024 Charter Committee Centenary recognition event(s).
The Charter Committee of Greater Cincinnati was founded in 1924 to establish a unique local political party. At that time, Cincinnati was infamous for being the most corruptly governed major city in the United States under the infamous Boss Cox machine.
Under the leadership of Murray Seasongood, the Charter Committee proposed the country's first Council-Manager form of local government. The new charter replaced political patronage with civil service, implemented proportional representation, and established several separate Boards and Commissions, such as the Health Department, Parks, Historic Preservation and others. The first charter election resulted in six of nine council members from the Charter Party. Murray Seasongood was selected Mayor.
The Charter Committee has continued to be an active and important presence in Cincinnati for many decades. Charterites who have served as Mayor include: Dot Dolbey, Cincinnati's first woman mayor, Theodore Berry, Bobbie Sterne and Tom Brush. Other Charter council members include Arn Bortz, Marian Spencer, Jim Tarbell, Reggie Williams, Roxanne Qualls, Christopher Smitherman, Kevin Flynn and Yvette Simpson.
In 1999, voters amended the Charter, Cincinnati's constitution, to strengthen the Mayor's position. The Mayor became separately elected and was given the right to control Council's agenda, appoint members to Boards and Commissions, control committee agendas, initiate the hiring and firing of the City Manager, and veto Council votes. In 2013 the Charter was again amended to give the Mayor and Council four year terms. This amendment was rescinded in 2019 to return to two-year terms for Council members. The 2021 election elected a Mayor for a four year term and all Council members for two year terms.
In 2022 there were 2 changes, both at least partly the result of work by the Charter Committee. The City voted to eliminate the 'Pocket veto', a loophole that had been used multiple times since the 'Strong Mayor' vote. The Pocket Veto was used by Mayors to kill legislation by excluding topics from Council Meetings. The mayor and committees now have a maximum time they can delay items before items automatically appear on the appropriate agenda.
City Council also began the use of 'executive sessions', allowing discussion of sensitive topics without the public having access, but only in stricty controlled circumstances.
CHARTER REVIEW TASK FORCE
The Charter Review Task Force (CRTF) was created by a unanimous vote of Cincinnati City Council on December 13, 2013, introduced by Charter Councilmember Kevin Flynn.
Their final report includes proposed Charter changes in three categories:
Correcting unintended consequences of the 1999 charter amendments that Implemented the “stronger mayor” form of government
Modifications to the current “stronger mayor” form of government to correct a perceived flaw in the present system.
Legal compliance changes to correct internal inconsistencies in the charter or to bring the charter into compliance with Ohio state requirements.
The 2021 Charter platform includes the Task Force recommendations that have not previously been brought to City Council for a vote.