North Royalton voters will have an opportunity in November to decide if they would like to make a charter change. The change would not only increase the term of Ward Council Representatives from two to four years, but, could potentially increase the actual term from its current twelve-year limit.
If passed in November, some current members of the North Royalton City Council could potentially increase their term limit from twelve years to eighteen years, if they win in the next two Council elections. Currently, three members of City Council have already served two terms and two have served one term. This extension applies to only Ward Council members.
The ballot measure was adopted by City Council at their June 20 meeting, where legislation placing it on the November ballot was adopted 6-1, with Council President Paul Marnecheck casting the only dissenting vote. He stated, “I agree with Mayor Antoskiewicz that this could look like it’s being done to benefit Council members. If a change is needed, it should have come from the unbiased residents who serve on the Charter Review Committee. The current system works and I see no reason to cause confusion by changing it.”
City Council introduced legislation at their June 6 meeting. The measure was introduced by Ward 1 Council Rep John Nickell, Ward 2 Council Rep Linda Barath, Ward 3 Council Rep Joanne Krejci, Ward 4 Council Rep Jeremy Dietrich, Ward 5 Council Rep Heidi Webber and Ward 6 Council Rep Mike Wos. The legislation was then approved at the June 20 meeting.
Currently, the North Royalton City Charter states that “each Ward Councilperson is to serve for a term of two (2) years commencing with the November election of 1979 and every two (2) years thereafter. No person elected Ward Councilperson shall hold the office for a period longer than six (6) consecutive terms or more than twelve (12) consecutive years, unless one (1) full term or more has elapsed since that person last held the position of Ward Councilperson.”
According to the legislation, the proposed charter amendment will read as follows on the November 7 ballot:
“SHALL THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF NORTH ROYALTON BE AMENDED TO LIMIT THE TERMS OF ELECTED OFFICIALS AS FOLLOWS:
ARTICLE III SUBSECTION (c) TO READ IN PART:
BEGINNING WITH THE NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION OF 2025, EACH PERSON ELECTED WARD COUNCILPERSON SHALL, COMMENCING JANUARY 1, 2026, HOLD THE OFFICE OF WARD COUNCILPERSON FOR A PERIOD OF 4 YEARS; NO PERSON ELECTED WARD COUNCILPERSON SHALL HOLD THE OFFICE FOR MORE THAN THREE (3) CONSECUTIVE TERMS. COUNCIL SERVICE PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 2026 SHALL NOT BE COUNTED FOR PURPOSES OF THESE TERM LIMITS. EXISTING CHARTER PROVISIONS SHALL APPLY THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2025.”
By GLORIA PLEVA KACIK