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Legislative Action this Week

HB 318 PRIMARY ELECTION (Blessing, L.) To revise the process for becoming a candidate for nomination for the office of President of the United States, to establish a separate primary election on June 12, 2012, for nominating candidates for the offices of President and Vice-President of the United States, candidates for the office of member of the United States House of Representatives, candidates for at-large delegate and alternate to the national convention of a major political party, and candidates for district delegate and alternate to the national convention of a major political party, to eliminate the August special election in 2012, to permit political subdivisions and taxing authorities to conduct a special election on the day of the June 12, 2012, primary election, and to make an appropriation.

This bill was passed by the Senate this week and concurred on by the House.  The Governor is expected to sign the bill quickly.



As a result of HB 318, the state will hold two primary elections in 2012.  On March 6, 2012, Ohioans will go the polls to vote in a primary election for state and local government candidates.  On June 12, 2012, Ohioans will go to the polls to vote in a primary election for presidential and US congressional candidates.


Of notable concern to townships, HB 318 also eliminates the 2012 August special election and allows local governments, including townships, to place issues and levies on the ballot during the June 12 primary.  Please note that filing deadlines will be very close to the March primary election.  Make sure you work closely with your legal counsel and your county board of elections should your township consider placing an issue on the ballot in 2012.



Introduced this Week

SB 238 ETHICS LAW (Lehner, P.) To require persons who are elected or appointed to, or who are candidates for, an office of a township with a population of five thousand or more to file statements under the Ethics law.

The OTA is concerned with this bill and the impact it will have on officials or candidates for office in townships with a population of 5,000 or more.



Meetings this Week

Shared Services Survey - Office of Budget & Management

Public Transit Issues - Local Government Groups and Public Transit Rep.



Shared Services Survey - VERY IMPORTANT!

This is repeated from last week’s alert!


Am. Sub. H.B. 153 (biennium budget), enacted in June, requires the Director of the Governor’s Office of 21st Century Education to conduct a shared services survey of Ohio’s school districts and local political subdivisions by October 15, 2011.  Townships, as political subdivisions, are part of this survey.


This survey will be utilized to collect baseline data on existing shared services arrangements as well as to identify where there may be opportunities to do more.


It is very important that townships take the time to complete this survey!  The survey can be accessed online at: http://survey.education.ohio.gov/se.ashx?s=60DA72701C32FD35  Townships will have until October 28, 2011, to complete the survey.  Results will be included in the state’s plan and recommendations to the Governor released in December.


In preparation to complete the survey, townships should be prepared to provide the following information (gather prior to taking the survey!)  And please, only one response per township.

bullet Your township’s 2010-11 Total Annual Operating Expenses;
bullet Identification of your township’s collaborative or shared service projects;
bullet The amount spent or purchased in 2010-2011 through a shared service arrangement provided by another governmental entity;
bullet The amount of your 2010-2011 total annual revenue generated by providing shared services and other consortia programs or services to another governmental entity.
bullet Information about your core technology systems.

The Shared Services Packet attachment has a memo (first page) explaining the survey and giving you the link.   The next few pages are frequently asked questions that OBM has put together after the survey initially went out last week.  The bulk of the attachment is a paper copy of the survey questions so you can review the questions prior to going on line to complete the survey.


Your direct and candid responses will assist the state in being informed about the collaboration that townships already engage in, developing the appropriate policies and related support systems to ensure the ongoing delivery and sustainability of essential public services to all Ohioans.  Seize this opportunity and submit a thorough response.  Again, please visit http://survey.education.ohio.gov/se.ashx?s=60DA72701C32FD35 and participate in this survey.



Matthew DeTemple, OTA Executive Director




The Auditor has released a bulletin (2011-006) today setting out some recommendations for best practices in complying with the Ohio Public Records Act (the "Act").  The Auditor has stated that “these recommendations are not intended to add to the responsibilities of your office or to place additional burdens on you or your staff.  Rather, we hope our recommendations will help a public office navigate the requirements of the Act, streamline its response process and insulate itself from liability in the event of litigation.”  Auditor of State Bulletin 2001-006 is attached.




Karen Carraher, executive director of OPERS, sent a letter (attached) to GASB in response to the Exposure Draft.  The comments were due on Friday, October 14th. GASB will be reviewing the comment letters and the testimony offered during its recent hearings in the coming days.  As OPERS learns more about GASB’s decision on the Exposure Draft, they will share with us and we will keep you apprised.


http://www.lctaonline.org/Docs/OTA_Alerts/Shared Services Packet.pdf

http://www.lctaonline.org/Docs/OTA_Alerts/OPERS Letter re GASB.pdf

http://www.lctaonline.org/Docs/OTA_Alerts/2011-006 Bulletin RE Public Records.pdf