Limited Home Rule
Copley Township Limited Home Rule
Limited Home Rule is a complicated topic. The resources below will help shed some light on what you need to know to make an informed decision.
Simply put, Limited Home Rule would allow Copley Township to address the pressing needs found in a large urban Township such as ours that we currently do not have the authority to address. Once passed, voters within Copley Township have the ability to reaffirm or to rescind this form of government, as deemed necessary.
Limited Home Rule would provide our local government the power to make decisions based on local need, rather than leaving those decisions in the hands of state representatives. If passed, here's what...
Copley Township COULD do:
- Pass resolutions addressing urban areas' needs and issue citations for violating a resolution.
- Formalize passing resolutions requiring separate readings, except for emergency measures.
- Extend financing periods for equipment.
- Regulate adult entertainment establishments.
- Regulate residency of sex or child-victim offenders.
- Require the hiring of a part-or full-time law director.
- Impose civil fines up to $1,000 for any Property Maintenance Code violation.
Copley Township COULD NOT do:
- Exercise any power in conflict with general laws.
- Enact any taxes other than those authorized by general law.
- Change, alter, combine, eliminate or modify form or structure of existing government.
- Establish or revise:
- Subdivision regulations.
- Road construction standards.
- Stormwater and drainage regulations.
- Building standards.
- Hunting, trapping or fishing regulations.
- Possession, use or sale of firearms.
The question of whether to enact Limited Home Rule will be put to vote in the next general election, taking place Nov. 8, where the decision will be determined by the majority.
More resources can be found here:
- What qualifies a township for adopting a Limited Home Rule government?
Townships are eligible for adopting Limited Home Rule governments if they have a population of at least 2,500 residents.
- Why is Copley Township pursuing Limited Home Rule?
Limited Home Rule would enable Copley Township to pass certain resolutions that have not previously been allowed as a response to the needs of urban areas, and to make decisions based on local need.
- How is Limited Home Rule decided upon and implemented?
For a township with more than 15,000 residents, the Board of Trustees may unanimously vote to adopt this form of government. The Copley Township Board of Trustees, however, has chosen to place the issue on the local election ballot. If a majority of the votes cast are in favor of Limited Home Rule government, it is adopted as the township's government on the first day of January, immediately following the election.
- If enacted, how long will the Limited Home Rule be in effect for Copley Township?
Limited Home Rule would remain in effect for a minimum of three years. At that time, if the Board of Trustees determines that Limited Home Rule is not in the best interests of the township, it may adopt a resolution causing the Board of Elections to place on the ballot the question of whether the township should continue that form of government. The electors of the township may propose at any time, by initiative petition, a resolution to place the question on the ballot in a local election.
- If enacted, when would Limited Home Rule go into effect?
Limited Home Rule would be effective Jan. 1, 2023.
- What if, once implemented, this form of government is found to not be in the best interests of Copley Township?
Limited Home Rule can be terminated via petition of the electors and a subsequent vote, or via the board of township trustees and a subsequent vote of the electors.
- Voters may petition the board of township trustees, signed by 10% of the electors of the township, at any time. The board of township trustees must then certify a resolution to the board of elections for the question of adopting Limited Home Rule government. The question is put to vote at the next general election, which must occur at least 90 days after certification to the board of elections.
- Once in effect for three years, if the board of township trustees determines Limited Home Rule is not in the township's best interests, a resolution can be adopted to propose its termination. The question is voted on in the next general election, at least 90 days after it has been certified to the board of elections.
- Who makes up the board of trustees for Copley Township under Limited Home Rule?
Per the Ohio Revised Code, townships are authorized to be governed by three trustees: two elected at the general election in an odd-numbered year and one elected on the alternate odd year, with each serving a four-year term. Trustees are responsible for both the legislative and administrative duties of the township and are not authorized to terminate Limited Home Rule in private.
Copley Township's trustees are:
* Jim Schulte, Chairperson
* Scott Dressler, Vice-Chairperson
* Bruce Koellner, Trustee
- Do any other townships in Northeast Ohio utilize Limited Home Rule?
Yes. Carlisle Township, Howland Township, Liberty Township, West Chester Township, Boardman Township, Jackson Township, Perry Township and Plain Township all currently operate Limited Home Rule governments.
- How will Limited Home Rule resolutions be enforced?
Limited Home Rule townships may adopt and enforce resolutions, though generally cannot create criminal offenses or impose criminal penalties. Limited Home Rule townships must also provide police services to enforce resolutions and issue citations for violations.
- What happens if township resolutions (e.g., a property maintenance code) resulting from the implementation of Limited Home Rule are violated?
Limited Home Rule townships may enforce resolution by requiring civil fines up to $1,000.
- Can resolutions be revised or amended?
Yes. However, all resolutions will require two readings before they are approved and effective, providing more transparency of Township business.
- What impact might Limited Home Rule have on law enforcement, if any?
Limited Home Rule government has the authority to adopt and enforce regulations relating to public health, safety, and the general welfare of township residents, including local police, sanitary and others. This authority is typically used to regulate noise and nuisances or impose things like leash laws or curfews. It cannot be used to create or enforce any regulation conflicting with existing state laws.
- Does Limited Home Rule impact any previously established rules or laws existing within Copley Township?
Limited Home Rule does not have any impact on previously established government acts. All rules and laws in place at the time Limited Home Rule government is implemented continue as is until otherwise amended or rescinded.
- How will the township address any violations of the new Limited Home Rule guidelines before Limited Home Rule was enacted?
Limited Home Rule does not have any impact on previously established prosecutions or proceedings - civil or criminal - even those pending when the new government goes into effect.