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BOE Certifies Petition Signatures For City Council Ward Proposal

May 21, 2016

The Franklin County Board of Elections says a citizens group has collected enough valid petition signatures to ask voters to approve a plan to increase the number of Columbus City Council members and create ward representation.

Represent Columbus wants voters to approve its plan to create a 13-member council, with 10 members elected from wards and the others elected at-large. Council is currently comprised of seven members elected at-large. Council will soon decided whether to enact the plan, or reject it and sent it to the ballot for voters to decide in a special election in August. That election is estimated to cost taxpayers 1 million dollars. Similar plans have been floated several times in the last 20 years, mainly by people - Republicans and Democrats - who have unsuccessfully attempted to get on city council.  Supporters say the plan would provide better overall representation for neighborhoods. Opponents say ward-style government in other cities has proven to be rife with corruption, and at-large government forces politicians to focus on the city as a whole.