Organization of County Council PDF Print E-mail

Cross References
Elections and terms – see CHTR. Sec. 3.01.1, 3.01.2
Salary – see CHTR. Sec. 3.02
Powers and duties – see CHTR. Sec. 3.03
Organization, rules, and procedure – see CHTR. Sec. 3.04
Power to choose legal representative – see ADM. 138.02
Investigation by Council – see CHTR. 3.06

121.01 County Council.

121.01 COUNTY COUNCIL.
The County Council is the eleven-member legislative authority, taxing authority and policy-making body of the Summit County government.

121.02 Rules of Council.

121.02 RULES OF COUNCIL.
By a Motion of Council, the County Council shall adopt the operating “Rules of the Council of the County of Summit” (Council Rules) for the efficient operation of Council business consistent with the Summit County Charter, these Codified Ordinances and the laws of the State of Ohio. The Council Rules may be amended from time to time by a Motion of Council. Questions of parliamentary procedure not covered by the Council Rules shall be governed by the most current version of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised. (Click here for complete set of Council Rules).

121.03 Salary and bond.

121.03 SALARY AND BOND.
The salary of each Summit County District Council Member for the term commencing January 1, 2009 and thereafter, and the salary of each Summit County At-Large Council Member for the term commencing January 1, 2011 and thereafter, shall be 20% of the County Executive’s salary. The salary of County Council District Members shall continue to be increased at the same percentage rate of the County pay classification until January 1, 2009, and the salary of County Council At-Large Members shall continue to be increased at the same percentage rate of the County pay classification, and as approved by the adoption of legislation.

Members of County Council are not required to give bond prior to entering upon the discharge of any duties.

121.04 Council personnel.

121.04 COUNCIL PERSONNEL.
The County Council, as an appointing authority, acts as an employer and may appoint any assistants or professionals the Council determines to be necessary for the efficient performance of its duties, including, but not limited to, a Chief of Staff, a Clerk of Council, a Deputy Clerk of Council, a Budget Analyst, a Research Analyst, a Constituent Services Coordinator, and a Staff Attorney, and may perform any acts necessary for the hiring, retention, disciplining, and administration of such Council employees.

The Chief of Staff shall be an unclassified, exempt position held by a professionally qualified administrator who shall serve at the pleasure of County Council. (Click here for directory of Council Staff).

121.05 Agenda of Council.

(a) The Clerk of Council shall compile the agenda for each meeting. The Clerk shall assign each piece of legislation or Motion of Council a number upon filing. This number will be permanently affixed to the legislation or the Motion of Council. The Clerk shall have exclusive custody of all items appearing on the agenda upon delivery and such items may be withdrawn only as provided herein.

(b) County Elected Officials may request legislation be considered by Council for adoption. Such request shall be directed to the Council President on a form prescribed by the Clerk of Council. Pursuant to Article II of the Charter, the County Executive may introduce ordinances and resolutions for consideration by Council.

(c) Legislation submitted for Council consideration shall meet the established minimum guidelines as set forth herein. Items that are presented without meeting these established guidelines will appear on the agenda under the heading “Incomplete Legislation.” Council may then consider the legislation for first reading.

Established Minimum Guidelines for Submittal of Legislation to Council

(1) Proposed legislation may be placed on the agenda following delivery of the proposed legislation to the Clerk of Council in written form in hard copy and electronic copy prior to 10:00 a.m. of the Thursday prior to a Regular Council Meeting. The legislation shall include the title and sponsor and shall be accompanied by a Legislative Summary Sheet attached that notes the department contact person for purposes of inquiry, the purpose of the proposed legislation, council district(s) affected, history/background information, financial information, including, but not limited to, financial impact of the proposed legislation, prior approvals received, and any evaluation completed or to be completed related to the proposal. The Clerk of Council shall prescribe the form and instructions for the Legislation Summary Sheet.

(2) Legislation must be submitted with all pertinent exhibits, agreements, and attachments referred to in the legislation.

(3) All legislation for change orders to contracts shall reference by number the original legislation, the vendor name and any other pertinent information that would allow expeditious research for tracking the project. The reference shall be in the title and in the body of the legislation.

(4) Legislation shall reference the Council District involved or affected by the action therein, in both the title and the body.

(5) Legislation requiring the emergency clause shall incorporate the standardized “This resolution (or ordinance) is declared to be an emergency in the interest of the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Summit County, and for the further reason…” The clause shall appear in both the title (shortened version “declaring an emergency” allowed for title) and in the body of the legislation.

(6) Legislation shall reference in the body the following standardized open meeting clause: “It is found and determined that all formal actions of this Council concerning and relating to the adoption of this Resolution (or Ordinance) were adopted in an open meeting of this Council, and that all deliberations of this Council and of any of its committees that resulted in such formal action, were in meetings open to the public, in compliance with all legal requirements, including Section 121.22 of the Ohio Revised Code.”

(7) Legislation amending the Codified Ordinances shall include all text of the appropriate section, striking through what is being deleted and underlining what is being incorporated into the section.

(d) If a sponsor requests Council to consider for passage legislation after the legislation receives only one reading (First Reading Passage Request), Council will only consider the First Reading Passage Request if the sponsor or the sponsor’s designee contacts the Council staff person assigned to the Committee to which the legislation has been assigned to discuss the First Reading Passage Request.

(e) Items appearing on the agenda may be withdrawn by delivery of the request in writing including the title and number and signed by all sponsors or the sponsors’ authorized designee and all co-sponsors’ or the co-sponsors’ authorized designee to the Clerk of Council prior to the introduction of the matter in the order of business. Matters withdrawn by this procedure shall be designated "withdrawn" on the record of proceedings. If there are one or more co-sponsors of an item on the Agenda, and a sponsor or co-sponsor requests withdrawal without concurrence of all sponsors and co-sponsors, only the sponsor’s or co-sponsor’s name requesting the withdrawal shall be removed from the item and the item shall remain on the Agenda.

121.06 Confirmation of appointments.

121.06 CONFIRMATION OF APPOINTMENTS.
The County Executive shall submit all appointments of officers and members of boards, agencies, commissions and authorities pursuant to Article II, Section 2.03 of the Summit County Charter to the Summit County Council for confirmation in a letter addressed to the President of Council and Clerk of Council. Upon receipt of a letter from the County Executive with proposed appointments, the Clerk of Council shall prepare a written Motion of Council for consideration at the next Regular Council Meeting for the confirmation of such appointments. In the event one or more of the Executive’s proposed appointments are not confirmed by Council, the Clerk of Council shall prepare a Motion of Council rejecting such appointment or appointments. If Council does not confirm or reject a proposed appointment within sixty days of the Clerk of Council’s receipt of the letter from the County Executive, the appointment shall become effective without action by Council.

123.01 Findings and purpose.

123.01 FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
The primary responsibility of the various departments, offices, and agencies of the County of Summit is to be as responsive as possible to the concerns and needs of residents while also ensuring the most economical, efficient and judicious use of public funds and resources. On November 3, 1998, the electors of the County of Summit approved the addition of current Section 3.06 to the Summit County Charter, which granted the authority to County Council to investigate the financial transactions of any office, department, or agency of County government and the official acts and conduct of any county official. This Chapter is intended to provide the means for implementing this authority and exercising Council’s legislative oversight powers to review the economy, efficiency, and fairness in the management and operation of Summit County government.

123.02 Legislative oversight powers and duties.

123.02 LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT POWERS AND DUTIES.
In addition to any other power, duty, or responsibility granted to the County Council by the Charter of the County of Summit and the laws of the State of Ohio, the County Council or any Committee thereof may:

(a) Review and evaluate financial controls and accountability, efficiency of management, and utilization of resources, internal controls, and effectiveness of program results of the various departments, agencies, and entities using funds appropriated or approved by the County Council;

(b) Report on conditions found, identify weaknesses, and suggest ways and means for improvement of financial and operating management, including prescribed principles and standards of accountability and internal controls;

(c) Evaluate new legislative proposals and requests for appropriations in terms of availability and effectiveness of existing resources to meet the needs and fulfill the purposes of new proposals;

(d) Conduct special surveys and investigations;

(e) Conduct special program or budget analyses on selected operational units, programs, functions, and activities;

(f) Employ consultants and technical advisors as might be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Chapter;

(g) Review all post-audit reports of the Internal Audit Office;

(h) Review all Executive branch internal audit and program evaluation reports and request comments from agency directors;

(i) Review contract administration and performance, using a random sample of county contracts;

(j) Annually budget appropriate funds in the amount necessary to carry out the purposes of this Chapter;

(k) Coordinate with the Internal Audit Committee when possible to prevent duplication of efforts.

123.03 Access to records; retaliation prohibited.

123.03 ACCESS TO RECORDS; RETALIATION PROHIBITED.
(a) Members of County Council or any duly appointed agent of County Council shall have access to, and the right to examine, any pertinent books, documents, papers or records of any department, agency or instrumentality necessary to carry out the responsibilities assigned hereunder.

(b) Included within the scope of this Section shall be such information as is necessary to determine powers, duties, activities, organization, financial transactions and methods of operation, management and accountability.

(c) No employee of the County government or any instrumentality of the county shall be retaliated against or penalized, or threatened with retaliation or penalty, for providing information to, cooperating with, or in any way assisting the County Council in connection with any activity of that office carried out pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.

123.04 Power of Council to subpoena witnesses and administer oaths.

123.04 POWER OF COUNCIL TO SUBPOENA WITNESSES AND ADMINISTER OATHS.
Upon the adoption of a resolution by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of Council, and pursuant to the authority granted to County Council by Section 3.06 of the Summit County Charter, the County Council may issue subpoenas for witnesses, and the Council President or the presiding member of any Committee of Council may administer the oath or affirmation to any witness who may be examined before the Council or Committee of Council in connection with any investigation, inquiry, or survey authority pursuant to this Chapter.

123.05 Reports.

123.05 REPORTS.
(a) Any findings, determinations, or reports by Council or any Committee of Council following any audit, survey, or investigation conducted pursuant to this Chapter shall be submitted in written form to all members of County Council by the Chief of Staff of Council. Except as otherwise provided in Subsection (b) of this Section, all reports shall be made available by Council to:

(1) The general public; and

(2) The director of any agency or department that is the subject of a report.

Within thirty (30) days after receipt, the agency or department director may give the Council written comments on the report findings. The agency or department director may also give the Council status reports on actions taken to resolve any deficiencies indicated in the report. The County Council may require status reports to be given to Council by the agency or department director every six (6) months, from the date the report is issued until all deficiencies are resolved.

(b) Within fifteen (15) days following finalization of the report by Council or any Committee of Council, the Council or Committee of Council shall determine whether the report, or any part of the report, shall not be made public. The only basis on which a report or any part of a report may not be made public is if the report or part contains information that would not be available for public inspection pursuant to the Ohio Open Records Act.

(c) If a report, or any part of a report, is not made public by the Council, the Council shall promptly release to the public a general summary of the report or part together with the reasons why the report or part was not made public.

123.99 Penalties.

123.06 PENALTIES.
(a) Pursuant to Section 3.06 of the Summit County Charter, any of the following matters may be referred to the Prosecuting Attorney for prosecution for contempt:

(1) Failure to respond to a valid request by the County Council pertinent to the matter under consideration for the production of records and information pursuant to Section 123.03 of this Chapter;

(2) Failure to respond to a subpoena issued by the Council pursuant to Section 123.04 of this Chapter;

(3) Knowingly giving false or misleading information in connection with any audit, survey or investigation conducted pursuant to this Chapter

(b) Anyone who retaliates against or who threatens retaliation against any person for that person's furnishing of information or cooperation in any investigation or inquiry conducted pursuant to this Chapter shall be subject to civil fine of not more than $1000.00.

The End