Leitzell calls for charter change discussion on petitions

Mayor Gary Leitzell in an internal email to the City Manager and the City Commission calls for the city to no longer waste money trying to keep candidates off the ballot:

I have read through the material submitted in the case that William Pace has filed against the Board of Elections. In that case he has named the City of Dayton as a defendant. The Board of Elections was fully responsible for the decision in his situation. As such, I want to go on record stating that the City of Dayton should not spend one dime of public money defending this case against the BOE. I would like to see this as a short discussion item on next Wednesday’s commission meeting.

That being said, I think it is time to make some charter changes regarding the petition process. We need to make the form simpler. A simple sign and print your name, eliminate the requirement of a notary and we need to bring the recall and public petition process in line with the State of Ohio to require 25% of the general electorate based on total votes in the last governor election.

Every election cycle someone takes issue and goes to the courts. This costs time and money for all concerned. Let us take this situation to make some positive changes for the future and simplify things so we no longer have to defend ourselves for misunderstandings that should not be occurring in the first place.

Gary Leitzell

It’s about time this discussion came out. Pace is simply asking for the right to run as a write-in candidate, where he has zero chance of winning. Of course, if he gets that right, the possibility of Leitzell running as a write-in as well may come up (although by being eliminated in the primary, he may be explicitly barred). Would write-in candidates upset the process? Probably not, especially in the no cost barred mayoral race. But, thanks to Leitzell being out of the fall election, he’s able to ask the question which would guarantee voters knowing how Williams and Whaley stand on these long needed changes, possibly becoming a campaign issue.

For the record, these are the minimal changes I asked for in the commission meeting weeks ago- even giving the commission a sample version of a simplified petition. Thank you, Mayor Leitzell.

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