AKRON, Ohio — On Tuesday, Akron voters overwhelming approved six amendments to the City of Akron Charter, including a requirement that the city release bodycam video recordings when police use deadly force against a citizen.
Over the course of several months, a commission representing diverse backgrounds, professions, ages, races and neighborhoods met virtually meetings, which resulted in six proposed ballot issues.
“These amendments will increase transparency, accountability and inclusion in City operations, and improve our ability to serve our residents in the most efficient and effective way,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “Through these amendments we will modernize our practices, enhance competition, and increase opportunity for Akron residents and businesses seeking to engage with their local government. I thank the voters of Akron for their overwhelming support of these common sense, good governance ballot issues.”
A summary of the approved issues was provided by the city of Akron:
Issue 2: Transparency of Body Worn Camera Recordings
- To build community trust and increase accountability, this amendment requires the City to promptly release recordings of a police officer using deadly force against a citizen or seriously injuring a citizen. City Council will adopt formal legislation enacting these changes by June 2021.
Issue 3: Advancing Human Resources
- This amendment will maintain hiring practices that are fair, competitive, and efficient, while developing a more inclusive, modern City of Akron human resources department
Issue 4: Enhancing Purchasing Practices
- By reducing outdated bureaucracy in City purchasing, this amendment is designed to save taxpayer resources and create more opportunities for local and small/diverse businesses to compete for City contracts.
Issue 5: Hiring Bonus for Veterans and Akron Residents
- This amendment will give Akron residents and veterans a “foot in the door” for City jobs, while rewarding on-the-job performance in promotions. It will help build a City workforce that reflects the diversity and character of our community and provides the highest quality service to residents.
Issue 6: Modernizing City Council Procedures
- This amendment would modernize City Council procedures, and improve transparency by allowing the use of internet technology to openly share Council information and conduct Council business.
Issue 7: Advancing Deadlines for Local Issues
- To protect the voting rights of military and overseas voters, this amendment would appropriately advance deadlines for considering local charter amendments, referendums, or initiatives, and enhance government coordination regarding early voting.