Citizen-led Kettering issues approved

Kettering residents voted to approve five of six issues on the ballot — Issues 31 through 35 — cementing the term limits first set for city council in 2012, according to unofficial final results Tuesday night.

The independent group, Citizens for a Better Kettering, proposed those five different issues in opposition to the mayor-appointed charter review committee and Issue 36.

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, as they can no longer propose any changes to charter provisions that affect term limits.

Issue 31 earned 64 percent of votes in favor of it, Issue 32 received 68 percent, Issue 33 with 76 percent, Issue 34 with 70 percent and Issue 35 with 69 percent, according to the unofficial final results.

As for Issue 36, unofficial final results had 60 percent of voters rejecting it.

“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. “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.”

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.

Issue 35 deletes and then adds language to section 3-4 of the city charter regarding the process for filling the city council vacancies. In the event of a vacancy, the successor would be elected at the next election occurring within the city, provided that council does not hold an election solely for the purpose of filling the vacancy.

Citizens for a Better Kettering proposed Issues 31 through 35 to address charter revisions, lawsuits, council meetings, transparency regarding city salaries, and how to fill council vacancies.

Ron Alban, founder of Citizens for a Better Kettering, said his group would not be available for comment until Wednesday, after they’ve had time to assess the election results.