When did Summit County adopt a Charter form of Government?

In 1979 Summit County Voters decided to replace the Commissioner form of government with a Charter government. The new, more responsive method of government began in 1981 with a seven-member council replacing the three commissioners. In 1988 voters increased the size of council to eleven members. Eight members represent specific districts, while three members serve at-large.

What is a Charter form of government?

A Charter form of government allows the elected representatives of the people to govern with more flexibility creating a more open, progressive county government. The charter gives Summit County “home rule”, permitting Council to adopt legislation more in tune with the needs of the community. Summit County was the first county in Ohio with a Charter form of government.  In 2009, Cuyahoga County became the second in Ohio to be voted into the Charter form of government.

How is the “Power” distributed under a Charter form of government?

The Charter distributes power similar to State and Federal government structures. Under the Commissioner form of government the three Commissioners had both administrative and legislative control. The Charter gives administrative control to the County Executive and legislative control to the County Council. Elected officeholders handle the other vital functions of government; law enforcement, justice, taxes, record keeping, and the maintenance and construction of roads and bridges.

...More on Charter Government


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