Pepper Pike City Government 101, Lesson 1: The City Charter

When I decided a little less than a year ago that I would run for Pepper Pike City Council, I'd already been through the White House Project's training program which focuses on teaching women skills for getting elected.  I also did my own research and organized many resources so that I would have an idea of how you do this thing called campaigning.

Now, I'm one of the biggest proponents of the idea that campaigning and governing (or being part of a city government) require two very different and often not overlapping sets of skills.  But some of the basic information a candidate and a council member need to know is the same.

One such set of knowledge is also the most obvious and possibly the least familiar to most Pepper Pike residents: the city's charter.

Not all cities are what are called "charter cities" but if it is, it is governed by its charter, and not by the state's laws that govern a municipality. Ohio State University has a nice, brief description of statutory versus charter cities.

Pepper Pike's ordinances are located here.  When you click on the link that is on that page which says, City Ordinances for Pepper Pike at, you will see a folder on the lefthand sidebar. You will double-click on that folder and you will see something like a table of contents drop down.  In that list, seven lines down, you will see "Charter." When you click on that word, you will then see a list of the contents of the Charter in the main screen.  You can then click on the hyperlinked numerals to go to that section and read the provision(s).

Pepper Pike's charter was enacted and effective as of January 1967.  There is a lot to read there, but it's where our city government structure starts. I find many many aspects of it fascinating, curious and, possibly, in need of updating.

If you've never read your city's charter, now's your chance. (wink)

DISCLAIMER: In posts like this one, I'm conveying only my experience in learning about our city's government and what I think I've learned, but I am not providing any legal advice or interpretation beyond what I learned for myself. Feel free to open discussion about these topics in the comments.

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