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City Council Indefinitely Tables Expansion Plan

Jul 25, 2017

Columbus City Hall
Credit columbus.gov

Columbus City Council last night tabled indefinitely a plan to ask voters in November to expand the number of council members and create a hybrid district representation system.

Council made the move after some unnamed members privately voiced enough concerns about the timing of the city charter change that the required five yes votes from the seven-member panel were not there. Council member Shannon Hardin has been the panel's point-person on the legislation. He says the panel wants to take its time amid some community opposition.

The proposal is based on the recommendations of the Charter Review Committee Hardin and Mayor Andy Ginther appointed last summer while the campaign for a ballot issue was ongoing. That plan to create a ward system was rejected by voters. Jonathan Beard spearheaded the ballot issue and plans to put another proposal before voters next year.

Veteran community activist and former council candidate Joe Motil has been vocal in his opposition to the city's plan.

Council also approved two tax breaks for profitable companies. Sponsoring council member Elizabeth Brown says FacilitySource is getting a four-year income tax break worth up to 407 thousand dollars to expand on the far north side.

King Memory will get a five year income tax break worth up to 75 thousand dollars to build a new facility on the far east side, retaining and creating a total of 66 jobs.  Council also approved creating a tax-increment financing district to fund infrastructure improvements around a planned Goodale Street mixed-use development by White Castle.