The Suburbanite
  • Osborne wants full-time North Canton mayor

  • Former North Canton councilman Chuck Osborne says he will campaign to make the North Canton mayor a full-time city employee.

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  • Former councilman Chuck Osborne said Thursday he will work to place a proposed charter amendment on the ballot that would require the mayor to work full time for the city.
    Currently, the elected part-time mayor appoints a full-time city administrator to run the city’s day-to-day affairs. Mayor David Held has a full-time job as the executive director of the Stark-Wayne-Tuscarawas Joint Solid Waste Management District.
    Osborne said Held is paid $15,000 a year for being mayor on top of roughly $15,000 for benefits.
    “It’s important that someone devote their entire attention and focus to running the city,” said Osborne, who added that a full-time mayor would be more accessible.
    If approved by voters, the change would take effect for the mayor elected in 2015, Osborne said.
    The mayor would not be allowed to hold any other government position other than as a Notary Public or service member of the Ohio National Guard or the military reserves. The mayor would have to “devote his/her entire time and effort during regular business hours and all other times as are necessary to properly conduct the business of the City.”
    The amendment would not eliminate the charter-mandated position of city administrator.
    Osborne said council would decide the full-time mayor’s salary. He said the issue has to have the signatures of about 746 registered city voters by early August to make the November ballot.
    Held could not be reached for comment.
    Daryl Revoldt, who served as mayor from 1998 to 2001, said his full-time job running then-congressman Ralph Regula’s district office did not prevent him from being a good mayor.
    “We don’t need a second full-time administrator,” said Revoldt.
    He added that residents can speak with the mayor at council meetings or call the mayor at home. He said a full-time mayor would cost taxpayers more money.
    He said few talented people would be willing to give up their careers for a two-year term as mayor if the job pays less than $60,000 a year.
    Revoldt said a charter revision commission should discuss the issue as part of an examination of the city’s entire governing structure and that such a significant change in the charter should not be decided by a “knee-jerk” up or down vote.
    Reach Robert at 330-580-8327
    or robert.wang@cantonrep.com.
    On Twitter: @rwangREP

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