Skip to Main Content

Charter Commission Chair Letter

 Back To News

Charter Commission Chair Letter

Apr 25, 2020

From the Chair of the Deer Park Charter Commission: 

Since being elected in November, the fifteen volunteer members of the Deer Park Charter Commission have been working towards drafting a charter for Deer Park. For those who may not know, a charter is like a constitution for a city: it sets out the general outline of how your government will function on a local level. Having a charter provides local control of the basic structure and function of a municipality and allows more flexibility than state law. Without a charter, a city has to follow the structures set forth by the General Assembly in Columbus. In short, a charter gives the residents and public officials of Deer Park direct and local control over how their government will function. 

The Commission has held regular meetings since January to review other municipalities’ charters, discuss, and draft a charter. Recently we approved a draft of the charter. But our work is far from complete because we need input from the people who will be most impacted by the charter: you!  

Until June 1, 2020, the Commission is soliciting comments from the public regarding the proposed draft. If you’d like to comment, you have a few options. First, you can comment in writing by sending an email or letter to the Commission to express your views on the proposed draft. Any written comments received on or before June 1 from a resident of Deer Park will be reviewed by the Commission and filed as part of the  minutes that are an official record of the Commission’s work.  You also have an option of attending a hearing where you can offer testimony to the Commission regarding your view of the draft. The dates, times, and locations of the meetings are listed below.  

Given the current advice from the Ohio Department of Health and limitations on public gatherings to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, please check back for updates to the hearing schedule. Also, I encourage you to participate in this process by written comment, rather than attending the hearing for a few reasons. First, having a written record of your comments is the most useful form of comment to the Commission because your opinion will be clear and preserved as part of the official record of the Commission’s work. Second,  gathering in a large group in the present circumstances presents some risk both to the public and the members of the Commission. Finally, given the unpredictable times, its not certain where we will be as a society in several weeks and whether public hearings will be possible even if we anticipate now that the hearings will be held. That said, the choice is yours how to best inform your government regarding your opinion. 

After the Commission considers changes to the draft charter as a result of public comment, the charter will be submitted to City Council who will have the opportunity to amend it further, as Council sees fit. Then the draft will be distributed to every elector (voter) in writing before it appears on the ballot in November for approval by the residents of Deer Park.  

We look forward to hearing from you regarding our work. Thank you in advance for your thoughtful comments and suggestions.

Your neighbor, Mark
Mark Manning, Chair Deer Park Charter Commission

click here for the draft charter (April 21, 2020)

You can send written input (USPS mail, email, fax. Note that the City's website has a Contact Us page, as an optional method for sending your input.), and/or you may attend either or both of the public hearings and speak to the Commission. Deadline for this phase of public input (to the Charter Commission) is June 1st, 2020.

Public Hearings to be at the Deer Park Community Center, 7640 Plainfield Rd, Deer Park, OH 45236:
1st hearing: Tues May 26, 2020 @ 7 p.m.
2nd hearing: Sat May 30, 2020 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

loading gif