Charter Amendment Proposals

 

Amendment 'A' to Article I of the Charter of the City of Mansfield has been endorsed by the Mansfield News Journal. See 'Environmental Bill of Rights Needed.' Mansfield News Journal. October 16, 2012.

 

ARTICLE I

NAME; BOUNDARIES; FORM OF GOVERNMENT

 

Section 1.03. Bill of Rights

The rights of the citizens of the "home rule" municipality of the City of Mansfield and the corporate City of Mansfield are derived and flow directly by and from the Ohio Constitution and its "Bill of Rights," and are secured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. These rights include, but are not limited to, the Ohio Constitution's proclamation that:


"§ 1.01 Inalienable Rights (1851)

All men are, by nature, free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and seeking and obtaining happiness and safety."

and

"§ 1.16 Redress in courts (1851, amended 1912)

All courts shall be open, and every person, for an injury done him in his land, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and shall have justice administered without denial or delay.

[Suits against the state.] Suits may be brought against the state, in such courts and in such manner, as may be provided by law.

(As amended September 3, 1912.)"

and

"§ 1.19b Property rights in ground water, lakes, and other watercourses

[including but not limited to]

(E) Ground water underlying privately owned land and nonnavigable waters located on or flowing through privately owned land shall not be held in trust by any governmental body. The state, and a political subdivision to the extent authorized by state law, may provide for the regulation of such waters. An owner of land voluntarily may convey to a governmental body the owner's property interest held in the ground water underlying the land or nonnavigable waters located on or flowing through the land."

and

"§ 1.02 Right to alter, reform, or abolish government, and repeal special privileges (1851)

All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their equal protection and benefit, and they have the right to alter, reform, or abolish the same, whenever they may deem it necessary; and no special privileges or immunities shall ever be granted, that may not be altered, revoked, or repealed by the general assembly."

 

IT IS FURTHER HEREBY PROCLAIMED BY THE HOME RULE MUNICIPALITY OF THE CITY OF MANSFIELD AND FOR THE PROTECTION OF ITSELF AND ITS CITIZENS AND FUTURE GENERATIONS, THAT EACH AND ALL SHALL POSSESS THE FOLLOWING INALIENABLE RIGHTS:


 

(A) Right to Sustainable Water. All residents, natural communities and ecosystems in the City of Mansfield possess a fundamental and inalienable right to sustainably access, use, consume, and preserve water drawn from natural water cycles that provide water necessary to sustain life within the City.

(B) Right to Clean Air. All residents, natural communities and ecosystems in the City of Mansfield possess a fundamental and inalienable right to breathe air untainted by toxins, carcinogens, particulates and other substances known to cause harm to health.

(C) Right to Peaceful Enjoyment of Home. Residents of the City of Mansfield possess a fundamental and inalienable right to the peaceful enjoyment of their homes, free from interference, intrusion, nuisances or impediments to access and occupation.

(D) Right to a Sustainable Energy Future. All residents in the City of Mansfield possess a right to a sustainable energy future, which includes, but is not limited to, the development, production, and use of energy from renewable fuel sources, including, but not limited to, water and air.

(E) Right to Self-Government. All residents of the City of Mansfield possess the fundamental and inalienable right to a form of governance where they live which recognizes that all power is inherent in the people, that all free governments are founded on the people's authority and consent, and that corporate or other entities and their directors and managers shall not enjoy special privileges or powers under the law which make municipal community majorities subordinate to them.

(F) People as Sovereign. The City of Mansfield shall be the governing authority responsible to, and governed by, the residents of the City. Use of the "City of Mansfield" municipal corporation by the sovereign people of the City to make law shall not be construed to limit or surrender the sovereign authority or immunities of the people to a municipal corporation that is subordinate to them in all respects at all times. The people at all times enjoy and retain an inalienable and indefeasible right to self-governance in the community where they reside.

(G) Rights as Self-Executing. All rights delineated and secured by this Charter shall be self-executing and these rights shall be enforceable against corporations and governmental entities.

(H) Securing and Protecting Rights. To further secure and protect the rights enumerated by the aforementioned Bill of Rights:

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person or corporation, or any director, officer, owner, or manager of a corporation or state government or any entity to use a corporation or state government or entity, to inject, deposit, store or transport waste water, "produced" water, "frack" water, brine or other materials, chemicals or by-products from the development of natural gas from shale formations, within, upon or through the land, air or waters of the City of Mansfield, without the written legislative consent of the City of Mansfield.

(2) No permit, license, privilege or charter issued by any State or state government agency, Commission or Board to any person or any corporation or state government or any entity operating under State laws, or any director, officer, owner, or manager of a corporation or state government or any entity operating under State laws, which would violate the prohibitions of this Charter provision or deprive any City resident(s), of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by this Charter, the Ohio Constitution, the United States Constitution, or other laws, shall be deemed valid within the City of Mansfield, without the written legislative consent of the City of Mansfield.

(3) The provisions of this section are severable. If any court of competent jurisdiction decides that any sub-section, clause, sentence, part, or provision of this section is illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect, impair, or invalidate any of the remaining sub-sections, clauses, sentences, parts, or provisions of this Bill of Rights and its prohibitions. The People of the City of Mansfield hereby declare that in the event of such a decision, and the determination that the court's ruling is legitimate, they would have enacted this amendment even without the sub-section, clause, sentence, part, or provision that the court decides is illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional. All inconsistent provisions of prior Ordinances and zoning Ordinances adopted at any time by the City of Mansfield are hereby held in abeyance, but shall take immediate effect in the event this Bill of Rights and its protective prohibitions are overturned, rejected, or held unlawful.

 

ARTICLE VII

DIRECTOR OF LAW

 

Section 7.01 Director of Law.

The Director of Law shall be elected from the City at Large for a term of six (6) years.

 

ARTICLE IX

ELECTED OFFICIALS

 

Section 9.02 Terms of Elected Officials.

(A)     All elected officials holding office in the City under the general statutory plan of government on December 31, 1982 are hereby designated to serve as such officials under this Charter with all the powers, duties and functions as provided under the general statutory plan.

(B)     The terms of all officials first elected in 2013 and 2015 under the provisions of this Charter shall commence on December 1 of the year of their election and shall terminate on December 31 of the final year of their term; thereafter all terms of officials shall commence on the first day of January following election and terminate on December 31 of the final year of the term.

(C)     The term of office of City Treasurer under the general statutory plan of government shall end and terminate, and such office is hereby abolished, at midnight, 31 December, 1983.

 

 

ARTICLE X

CIVIL SERVICE

 

Section 10.03 Police Chief.

(A)     Appointment by the Mayor to the position of Chief of Police shall be made from among those officers in the Division then holding the next two lowest grades to the Chief of Police and having not less than two (2) years of service in their respective grade. Provided: If there are less than three individuals eligible who have the necessary service in the next two lowest grades to the Chief of Police, than all individuals in the third lowest grade from the Chief who have at least three (3) years of service in such lowest grade shall also be eligible for appointment.               

(B)     An individual appointed by the Mayor to the position of Chief of Police and thereafter removed from that position by the Mayor shall be entitled to reappointment in the classified service of the Division in the grade held at the time of his appointment as Chief with full rights of seniority and tenure, including the time served as Chief of the Police Division.                      

(C)     Within the Division of Police there shall exist the unclassified position of Assistant Chief(s). The Assistant Chief(s) shall be appointed by the Chief from among those officers in the Division holding the next two lowest grades and having not less than three (3) years of total service in both said grades. The position of Assistant Chief shall be an at-will position and the individual(s) holding such position are subject to removal, without cause.                    

(D)     An individual appointed to the position of Assistant Chief and thereafter removed from that position shall be entitled to reappointment in the classified service of the Division in the grade held at the time of his/her appointment as Assistant Chief with full rights of seniority and tenure, including the time served as Assistant Chief of the Police Division.                      

(E)     In the event an individual holding the position of Chief resigns, dies, or said position is otherwise vacated within two (2) years of his/her appointment, the time and grade requirements of Section (A) hereof shall be waived.

 

ARTICLE XI

OTHER MUNICIPAL INSTRUMENTALITIES

 

Section 11.04 Board of Control

 

Except as otherwise provided in division (D) of section 713.23, and sections 125.04 and 5513.01 of the Ohio Revised Code, no contract in the department of public service or the department of public safety, in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars, shall be awarded except on the approval of the board of control of the city, which board shall direct the director of the appropriate department to enter into the contract. The members of the board shall prepare estimates of the revenue and expenditures of their respective departments to be submitted to the city legislative authority by the mayor, as provided by law.

 

ARTICLE XVI  

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Section 16.02 Effect of Charter on Existing Laws and Rights.

(A)     The adoption of this Charter shall not affect any pre-existing rights of the City nor any right, liability, pending suit or prosecution, either on behalf of or against the City or any officer thereof, nor any franchise granted by the City nor pending proceedings for the authorization of public improvements or the levy of assessments therefor. Except as a contrary intent appears in this Charter, all acts of Council of the City including ordinances and resolutions in effect at the date this Charter becomes effective, shall continue in effect until amended or repealed.

(B)     No action or proceeding pending against the City or an officer thereof shall be abated or affected by the adoption of this Charter. All actions or proceedings shall be prosecuted or defended under the laws in effect at the time they were filed.