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Published: Wednesday, 11/8/2006

Toledo term-limits issue, Maumee emergency plan head for passage

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Toledo voters yesterday appeared to be on the way toward approving an amendment that will clarify the city's term limits charter provision to limit service on City Council to no more than 12 consecutive years.

Also, a charter amendment in Maumee that would provide for what to do during an emergency also appeared to be passing last night in unofficial results.

With just over 31 percent of Toledo precincts reporting, more than 73 percent of voters were in favor of the Toledo charter measure. The amendment allows a councilman who has served 12 consecutive years to run again after a one-year gap.

Toledo City Council voted in August to put the amendment in front of voters after at-large council candidate David Schulz, a Republican, and Councilman Frank Szollosi, a Democrat, advocated for the change.

"It's good to clarify the charter document to the city of Toledo and it demonstrates that Democrats and Republicans can work together for reform," Mr. Szollosi said last night. "We are going to need to continue to push for reform down at city hall."

Under the charter approved by Toledo voters in 1992, city council members may serve no more than three consecutive four-year terms.

A ruling by former Law Director Barb Herring allowed Republican Councilman Betty Shultz to extend her tenure on council by four years beyond the 12-year limit and a similar ruling allowed Democrat Bob McCloskey to extend his stay by two additional years.

McCloskey's new term as an at-large councilman ended after just four months when he resigned in May to face bribery charges.

Mr. Szollosi last night said he supported the 12-year rule because that was the intent of voters in 1992.

Councilman Phil Copeland opposed the measure. He previously said it would be unfair to councilmen like himself who accepted midterm appointments.

In Maumee, residents voted on an amendment, Issue 14, designed to keep government operating in an emergency situation.

With 16 out of 20 precincts reporting last night, the measure was passing with more than 71 percent of the votes in an unofficial tally.

Its allows emergency measures to be passed with fewer than the five votes that normally are required. It also would address how to deal with a shortage of workers and lay out replacements for elected officials.

In Oregon, a charter amendment, Issue 16, that would allow any future referendum to be placed on the next primary or general election ballot instead of on a special election ballot appeared to be passing late last night, but only 18 percent of the precincts were in.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com

or 419-724-6171.



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