Westerville Style of Government: Council-Manager
The Council-Manager form of government consists of a legislative body – City Council – elected by popular vote and responsible for policy making. Day to day operations are the responsibilities of a central administrator, known as the City Manager.
Home Rule Charter
In 1964, Westerville Residents adopted a Home Rule Charter, which gives the municipal government greater local control and flexibility than the statutory form. Ohio statute governs only on matters which Westerville’s Charter does not address.
Every ten years, Council must appoint a Charter Review Commission, which may propose revisions to the Charter. Any proposed revisions must be submitted to local voters for consideration.
Westerville City Council consists of seven at-large members elected to serve four-year terms. Elections are held in odd-numbered years, with four seats filled in one election and three seats filled in the next election. Council members elected in November take office in December. Council then elects officers amongst themselves to serve two-year terms as Council Chair, Council Vice-Chair, Mayor and Vice-Mayor.
The City Manager, Clerk of Council, and Director of Law report directly to City Council. The City Manager serves as the City’s Chief Executive Officer, running Westerville’s day-to-day activities while implementing policies of City Council. The Clerk of Council records council proceedings, ordinances and resolutions, all of which are open to public inspection at any time during regular business hours. The Director of Law provides legal advice and assistance on city issues to City Council and the City Administration.
Formal Council meetings generally occur the first and third Tuesday of every month, followed by informal work sessions the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. All of these meetings are open to the public, unless otherwise advertised as part of an executive session. Council may have executive sessions to discuss personnel, real estate or litigation related matters.
Specific City Council duties generally fall into one of the following five categories:
- adopt/amend City laws
- establish policies
- approve budgets
- establish spending priorities
- approve contracts/agreements
City Council also considers recommendations from eight different city boards and commissions, which evaluate matters of special interest in a number of different areas.
Boards and Commissions
Various boards and commissions play a vital role in Westerville’s local government by evaluating matters of special interest and when appropriate, making recommendations to Westerville City Council. All board and commission meetings are open to the public. Usual meeting dates, times, locations and phone numbers for more information are listed in the sidebar on this page. Please call ahead to be sure meeting arrangements have not been changed, or to obtain minutes from specific past meetings.
Personnel Review Board: This three-member board hears appeals on disciplinary matters involving Westerville City municipal and school employees. (Meets as needed.)
Planning Commission: This seven-member commission, including one member of City Council, holds public hearings on land use items such as subdivision plans and rezoning requests. (Meets the 4th Wednesday of each month in City Council Chambers, 21 S. State St.)
Recreation Advisory Board: This nine-member advisory board, including one member of City Council, studies and recommends recreational programs, needs and facilities. (Meets the 3rd Thursday of each month in the Community Center, 350 N. Cleveland Avenue)
Shade Tree Commission: This seven-member commission reviews landscaping plans and promotes the planting and care of city trees. (Meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month in the Community Center, 350 N. Cleveland Avenue)
Uptown Review Board: This seven-member board protects and promotes the historic character of the Uptown District and oversees Uptown construction and renovation projects. (Meets the 1st Thursday of each month in City Council Chambers, 21 S. State St.)
Zoning Appeals: This seven-member board hears and decides appeals from any order or decision made by a city administrative officer in enforcing the zoning ordinance. The board can also authorize zoning variances, provided they do not conflict with the public interest. (Meets the 2nd Thursday of each month in City Council Chambers, 21 S. State St.)
Visitors and Convention Bureau: This seven-member board assists in marketing the City’s attractions, organizing tours, coordinating special events and attractions to encourage tourism, particularly to the Uptown area. (Meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month 8:00 a.m. at Java Central, 20 S. State St.)
Income Tax Review Board: This three-member board hears appeals on City of Westerville income tax matters. (Meets as needed.)