So far, political organizations have declined to endorse Issue 3.
Two of Cincinnati's political parties now oppose Issue 3, the sweeping charter amendment that would lower council pay, allow for the recall of the mayor and make several other major changes.
The Charter Committee on Tuesday announced it will oppose the charter amendment proposed by state Rep. Tom Brinkman, a Republican from Mount Lookout. The Charterites join the Cincinnati Democrats, who voted against it this past Saturday, and two mayoral candidates in opposition to Issue 3.
The Hamilton County Republican Party hasn't taken a position yet. The Republican will meet Wednesday night to discuss it, Hamilton County GOP Chairman Alex Triantafilou said.
Charter Committee President Darrick Dansby told The Enquirer the party opposes Issue 3 because there wasn't any public input.
"I have concerns about how the whole amendment was brought forth," Dansby said. "We in the Charter Party value transparency."
The Cincinnati Democrats on Saturday also voted to oppose Issue 3.
Brinkman said he did gather input from community leaders to craft his amendment. He asked where the Charter Committee's proposal to address corruption is.
"It’s funny coming from someone who did nothing and committee that has done nothing to end the corruption in the city of Cincinnati to make a comment like that," Brinkman said of the Charter Committee's opposition.
When asked whether any organizations have endorsed it yet, Brinkman said he hasn't thought about that yet.
How the region's Republicans feel about it, however, remains unknown. Triantafilou, when asked by The Enquirer last week, said he's heard from Republicans both for and against it.
Triantafilou declined to take a position on it but did say he approved of at least one provision, cutting the pay for city council members.
"I am in favor of the pay cut, I’ll go on record for that," he said. "It's a city manager form of government. You have people making it their full-time job. They ought to let city manager operate the government."
Voters won't be able to pick or choose individual pieces; they'll have to vote 'yes' or 'no' on the entire package.
What would the amendment do?
Brinkman's proposed amendment would make several changes to Cincinnati's charter:
- Require Council approval of all lawsuits filed by the city.
- Make council salaries equal to the median household income for the city. Council members now earn $65,000 a year, with some money taken out for benefits. Their salary would drop to $46,000 under the current median household income.
- Require one-year residency in the city to serve as mayor or as a council member, similar to state legislature rules.
- Eliminate the designee replacement system, under which councilmembers pick another councilmember to choose his or her replacement should they not be able to finish their term.
- Change the way vacancies are filled so the next highest election finisher would be first in line.
- Eliminate the so-called pocket veto. Now, Council votes items out of committee, but the mayor sets the agenda. The mayor could choose to never to put the item forward. Under this plan, everything voted out of committee must get a full council vote within 30 days.
- Allow individual liability of city employees for some violations of open meetings and public records law violations. This is meant to expedite the release of records, which isn't always timely, despite state law requiring speedy release of records within reason.
- Provide for the recall of the mayor, with some nuances for when such action can be brought to avoid a losing candidate seeking immediate removal of the winner.