Both sides of charter issues hail citizen participation

Kettering voters approved five of six issues on Tuesday’s ballot.

Kettering charter votes

This is the raw, unofficial final tally of Kettering votes on six charter amendments

Citizens for a Better Kettering-led issues

Issue 31 passed

Yes: 16,380

No: 9,159

Total: 25,539

Issue 32 passed

Yes: 17,472

No: 7,915

Total: 25,387

Issue 33 passed

Yes: 19,788

No: 6,230

Total: 26,018

Issue 34 passed

Yes: 17,869

No: 7,597

Total: 25,466

Issue 35 passed

Yes: 17,441

No: 7,846

Total: 25,287

City-led issue

Issue 36 rejected

Yes: 10,416

No: 15,205

Total: 25,621

Source: Montgomery County Board of Elections unofficial results

Kettering residents voted in favor of independent group-led issues 31 through 35 Tuesday, defeating the city-proposed Issue 36 by a wide margin.

>>RELATED: Citizen-led Kettering issues approved

The group, Citizens for a Better Kettering, proposed those five approved issues in opposition to the mayor-appointed charter review committee and Issue 36. After the final ballots were counted, the group’s founder, Ron Alban, said that the results were a reflection of Kettering residents’ “common sense.”

“The results show that the people can unite in support of fundamental principles of good government,” Alban said.

Alban, who thanked volunteers of the campaign, said the results—for Issues 31 through 35 and the failure of Issue 36—were expected. Those issues addressed charter revisions, lawsuits, council meetings, transparency regarding city salaries, and how to fill council vacancies.

“We expected strong super majority on all of the citizen petition proposals that we put on the ballot. The people of Kettering still understand and believe in these types of fundamental principles,” he said.

Issue 36 would have allowed city council members to serve three consecutive, four-year terms before a mandatory four-year break. With the passage of Issue 31, council members must instead maintain the term limits set in 2012.

“I would like to personally thank Chairman Don Walls and all of the Charter Review Committee members for their leadership and willingness to serve their fellow residents,” Kettering Mayor Don Patterson said in a statement issued Tuesday evening.

“We thank all of the Kettering residents who took the time to vote. Just like the volunteers who served on the Charter Review Committee, active participation in the governance of the city by our citizens is critical to keeping Kettering a thriving community our residents are proud to call home.”

Issue 36 also included changes that would have made the language in the charter more “gender-neutral.” It also included changes to the charter to reflect State law prohibiting certain city employees being required to live in Kettering. Since Issue 36 did not pass, those changes to the charter will not be made, according to Kettering’s law director.

At least two-thirds of voters cast ballots in favor of Issues 31 through 35, according to the unofficial final results. Issue 36 failed with 60 percent of voters rejecting it.

“I think the people saw the disrespect,” Alban said. “They rebuked council. There’s no other way to interpret this result.”

In 2012, Citizens for a Better Kettering proposed amendments to the Kettering charter that limited members of city council to two consecutive, four-year terms before taking a mandatory four-year break. Once on the ballot, that proposal passed with about 60 percent in favor of the charter amendments.

In 2016, the charter review committee convened to discuss possible changes to the city charter. That proposal took the form of Issue 36, which included issues other than eliminating term limits, such as adding gender-neutral language to the charter to remove the requirement that meetings be published in newspapers.

Kettering charter votes

This is the raw, unofficial final tally of Kettering votes on six charter amendments

Citizens for a Better Kettering-led issues

Issue 31 passed

Yes: 16,380

No: 9,159

Total: 25,539

Issue 32 passed

Yes: 17,472

No: 7,915

Total: 25,387

Issue 33 passed

Yes: 19,788

No: 6,230

Total: 26,018

Issue 34 passed

Yes: 17,869

No: 7,597

Total: 25,466

Issue 35 passed

Yes: 17,441

No: 7,846

Total: 25,287

City-led issue

Issue 36 rejected

Yes: 10,416

No: 15,205

Total: 25,621

Source: Montgomery County Board of Elections unofficial results