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Government and Politics


Canton tries again for a charter government
City Council proponents say they're tired of turning to Columbus for policy changes
Story by GRACE MURRAY


 
In The Region:

Canton officials are attempting to restructure their government to mirror the majority of the largest cities in Ohio – a charter government.

The proposed switch from a statutory government to a charter would allow Canton to make policy changes at the local level instead of turning to state officials to write its laws and regulations.

City Council Member Edmond Mack says he expects resistance as Canton considers a charter government for the eighth time. But he believes now is the time to make the switch.

LISTEN TO: MACK ON CANTON'S GOVERNMENT

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“When you look at the 10 largest cities in the state of Ohio, of which Canton is one, seven of those governments have charter governments," Mack says.

"When we want to affect change, we have to go through that whole Columbus process. Given the appetite for council to make changes within the statutory confines that we have, to really have a holistic, flexible mechanism to make ... any changes that we want, I think the time is now and I think this is the time to do it.”

Mack says past attempts at change were too aggressive and his proposal takes that into account.

“All changes would be implemented gradually,” he says. 

Among the northeast Ohio cities with charters are Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown. The charters control things like the size and makeup of council, which administrative positions are elected, and the timing of elections.  

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