Canfield City Council held a special meeting last week to approve sending two ballot issues on to the Board of Elections. Both issues deal with term limits for council and the mayor.
The issues involved petitions that were brought before council last month after resident Frank Micchia obtained the required five signatures needed to put an issue on the ballot this November. The first dealt with the office of mayor and limited that office to three-year term limits with a maximum of two terms. The other was for council, which also set a two-term limit. Both issues also prevent anyone who has held office for more than two terms from running again. That would mean that only Councilman John Morvay would be eligible to run for another term. The other four council members and the mayor would be forced out within the next two years under the proposed changes.
Council had the city attorney look at both petitions and each was done correctly according to the city charter. Last week at the special meeting, council agreed to send them on to the county and state for verification of the language. Once the petitions pass that inspection, each will be placed on the November ballot and the city will have to foot the bill.
"The city will have to pay a share of Mahoning County's cost for the November ballot," said city manager Joe Warino.
He said it will have to come out of the general fund and will require a budget amendment since it was not in the city's annual budget passed earlier this year.
While Micchia attended the special meeting, he had nothing to say during public presentation. Councilman Andy Skrobola did speak his mind on the two issues after the meeting.
"It appears beyond a question of doubt that to make a change of term for the mayor and council is intended to deny the incumbent council members and mayor from re-election," Skrobola said.
He said since he does not plan to run again when his seat is up he can speak to the issue from an independent position.
"I don't advocate for passage of these two proposals," Skrobola said. "Voters in this district should make themselves aware of what is going on, comprehend what they are reading thoroughly, and then vote their conscience."
Both issues, once finalized by the state, would appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. A third petition that Micchia submitted would have made it illegal in the city to toss newspapers and other publications in lawns and driveways. That petition had some errors after the city attorney reviewed it. It was sent back to Micchia, who could start over and resubmit it.
"If he does it in time, we could have to schedule another special meeting," Warino said.