City of Dayton Commission fails to properly comply with ADA requirements on ordinance

There is a reason no one knew what the Amendment to Section 39 of the Charter was- and couldn’t find it. The only copy online, passed as an emergency ordinance, was filed online as a scan of a document– not readable by the blind, or Google.

This is a blatant attempt to hide the legal language from the people. The four charter amendments should be struck down, and put back on the ballot with proper notification.

Here is the text that they didn’t want you to see until you went in the ballot box:

Sec. 39. Meetings of the Commission

For the purpose of allowing newly-elected and qualified Commissioners to assume the duties of their office, the Commission shall meet on the first Monday in January following a regular municipal election, or the next day if the first Monday in January following a regular municipal election is a legal holiday. The commission shall meet at a place and time announced during the last Commission meeting of the previous year. Thereafter the Commissioners shall meet at such times as may be prescribed by ordinance or resolution, except that they shall not meet less than once each week. Should a scheduled meeting of the Commission lack a quirum the meeting may be cancelled by a majority of the Commission providing written notification to the Clerk of their unavailability.

The Mayor, any two members of the Commission, or the City Manager may call special meeting of the Commission upon at least 24 hours written notice to each member of the Commission, served personally on each member or left at his usual place of residence. All meetings of the Commission shall be open to the public in accordance with the Ohio Sunshine Law presently codified in Ohio R. C.§121.22. The Commission shall determine its own rules and order of business and shall keep a journal of its proceedings.

To be clear, missing language about the notification process for extra meetings is now, vague.

“Special Meetings” to be called by either the Mayor or the City Manager- or two Commissioners, without a stated reason in a regularly scheduled public meeting- without a protocol to notify the general public- or the news media- as was previously the case, sets a dangerous precedent for government behind our backs- much the same way this ordinance was slipped onto the ballot and passed.

There should be no need for “Special Meetings” without serious emergency- flood, tornado, terrorism, war.

The Dayton City Commission is a board of directors- not a governing body. This change is a dangerous step away from an open and free Democracy.

Placing this document online- without complying with ADA requirements- and thus hiding it from Search- is also a step in the wrong direction.

Please join me in the fight to get this overturned.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! If you wish to support this blog, please head over and use our services at The Next Wave Printing for all your printing needs. We have 4 Color Business cards starting at just $13.50.

7 Responses

  1. Gene November 5, 2008 / 6:30 pm
    Who cares…..they have no power, they are incompetent, and if we are lucky maybe they will meet @ a place where a big truck runs into the side of the building and spares those who would have attended. Our local scene, at best, is a GD joke. They are as qualified to do what they do as David Esrati is qualified to play NBA basketball – he can dribble, pass and shoot, just not very well.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. David Esrati November 5, 2008 / 9:23 pm

    At the meeting- as normal- cut off at three minutes. Then they went on a rant about how they “informed everyone” via a printed ad in the Dayton Daily News and talked about it a lot on their broadcast.
    Let’s be clear:
    DATV is only available to cable subscribers. And cable costs a minimum of $11 a month.
    They have the meetings available online now: http://24.123.76.219/html/CityCommissionHigh.html
    but without transcripts- or at least an attached agenda- it would be hard to find the correct meeting.
    The Dayton Daily News- while well and fine- doesn’t come in a braille edition. Also, ads aren’t posted online.
    Reality is: their method of posting the laws online does not comply with ADA or is it able to be found in Google. This is unsatisfactory.
    Apparently- they claim there is no change to the notification part of the law- it’s just the part about the canceling of meetings when there is no quorum. I distinctly remember the “emergency notification” part being in the charter, but upon further review, that part hasn’t changed.
    Here is the original text: (from http://www.cityofdayton.org/cco/Documents/City%20Charter.pdf)

    Meetings of the Commission
    § 39. At 10:00 a.m. on the first Monday in January, following a
    regular municipal election, the Commission shall meet at the usual
    place for holding the meetings of the legislative body of the
    city, at which time the newly-elected Commissioners shall assume
    the duties of their office. Thereafter the Commissioners shall
    meet at such times as may be prescribed by ordinance or
    resolution, except that they shall meet not less than once each
    week. The Mayor, any 2 members of the Commission, or the City
    Manager, may call special meetings of the Commission upon at least
    24 hours written notice to each member of the Commission, served
    personally on each member or left at his usual place of residence.
    All meetings of the Commission shall be open to the public in
    accordance with the Ohio Sunshine Law presently codified in Ohio
    R.C. § 121.22. The Commission shall determine its own rules and
    order of business and shall keep a journal of its proceedings.
    (Amendment adopted by voters 11-20-89)

    The commission still needs to look at their methods of publication and notification.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *