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Akron, Ohio

Akron Voters Approve Six Amendments to City of Akron Charter

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Issues 2-7 make changes to Charter related to human resources, purchasing, Council procedures, and transparency of body-worn camera footage

City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt
Published: 11-04-2020

Akron, Ohio, November 4, 2020 (7:00 AM) – Yesterday, Akron voters overwhelmingly approved six amendments to the City of Akron Charter.  With 100% of precincts reporting, each of the issues passed with more than 81% of the vote.  Issue 2, the amendment related to the transparency of body worn camera recordings, received record support with nearly 90% voter approval.

In Spring 2020, a bipartisan Charter Review Commission was appointed by Mayor Dan Horrigan and Akron City Council to review the Charter and make recommendations for improvements to the City’s founding document.  The Commission – representing diverse backgrounds, professions, ages, races, and neighborhoods – met in public virtual meetings over several months.  Their recommendations resulted in six proposed ballot issues (Issues 2 through 7), which City Council unanimously agreed to submit to the electors on November 3rd.

 “These amendments will increase transparency, accountability and inclusion in City operations, and improve our ability to serve our residents in the most efficient and effective way,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “Through these amendments we will modernize our practices, enhance competition, and increase opportunity for Akron residents and businesses seeking to engage with their local government. I thank the voters of Akron for their overwhelming support of these common sense, good governance ballot issues.”

A summary of the approved issues is provided below:

Issue 2:   Transparency of Body Worn Camera Recordings

  • To build community trust and increase accountability, this amendment requires the City to promptly release recordings of a police officer using deadly force against a citizen or seriously injuring a citizen.  City Council will adopt formal legislation enacting these changes by June 2021.

Issue 3:   Advancing Human Resources

  • This amendment will maintain hiring practices that are fair, competitive, and efficient, while developing a more inclusive, modern City of Akron human resources department.

Issue 4:   Enhancing Purchasing Practices

  • By reducing outdated bureaucracy in City purchasing, this amendment is designed to save taxpayer resources and create more opportunities for local and small/diverse businesses to compete for City contracts.

Issue 5:   Hiring Bonus for Veterans and Akron Residents

  • This amendment will give Akron residents and veterans a “foot in the door” for City jobs, while rewarding on-the-job performance in promotions. It will help build a City workforce that reflects the diversity and character of our community and provides the highest quality service to residents.

Issue 6:   Modernizing City Council Procedures

  • This amendment would modernize City Council procedures, and improve transparency by allowing the use of internet technology to openly share Council information and conduct Council business.

Issue 7:   Advancing Deadlines for Local Issues 

  • To protect the voting rights of military and overseas voters, this amendment would appropriately advance deadlines for considering local charter amendments, referendums, or initiatives, and enhance government coordination regarding early voting. 

Additional information about these issues can be found at www.akronohio.gov/2020issues.  The amendments will be effective immediately upon final certification of official results by the Summit County Board of Elections.

For further information, contact:
Ellen Lander Nischt
Press Secretary
Phone: 330-375-2325
E-mail: [email protected]

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