In 2001 a group of citizens in Sandusky, Ohio tried to change the city government to a mayor/ward system. This site tells about that election. The site remains for others to use for research or to learn what can happen in their own fight for change.

Sanduskians for Mayor/Ward Boy and the Boot2001

"A mayor form and ward system basically provides more direct participation from the citizens. The government becomes more proactive, more goal-oriented, because there's basically a voter referendum every four years on the city's leadership." - Kevin Zeiher

"The ward system identifies a person with a particular area of town, and he'll be more responsible to those people in that area."  - Dannie Edmon


Proposed Changes
Ohio Mayors 2001
ORC & peculiar
Petition Rules
Sandusky Register
Talking Points
City Manager vs Mayor
Politics vs No Politics
No competitive bids???
Good Government
Term Limits
Table of Contents
Contact Me

It was defeated. 55% to 45%. The City sent a letter out with the charter change to all the voters urging them NOT to vote for the charter change:

"...As your duly elected city Commissioners, we are not in favor  of these proposed amendments that will bring partisan politics into our local government and have unanimously stated our opposition to their passage.  

"These proposed amendments would result in detrimental changes to our current form of local government. The proposed amendments, if approved by the voters, will result in the creation of six (6) wards in the City whose voters will only be able to elect one City Commissioner out of the six (6). Under our current City Charter all City voters vote for and elect all seven (7) of the members of the City Commission.

"There are many other harmful impacts these proposed amendments would cause. The determination of these amendments falls solely to you the voters of the City. The City Commission is legally required to present a copy to you and this should not be interpreted as an endorsement or support.


It was signed by all but one of the commissioners. Illegal? Yes, of course. It was mailed out using our tax dollars. The letter was drafted by our city attorney. The city pays for the best attorneys in the state. And even though this is illegal, there is almost nothing that can be done about this kind of abuse. Since the city was required by law to send a copy of the proposed charter change to all the voters of Sandusky, they are allowed to piggyback a letter like this provided they pay all the costs of printing the letter, etc. About ($100). So as citizens if we take the city to court, all we can do is make them put $100 back into the city treasury. And it doesn't matter that one of the commissioners publicly stated that he disagreed with the letter and that all the commissioners were not in favor of telling all the voters to vote against the charter amendment. 

The city has done this before. Then they point out that the taxpayers did not want the charter change since it was voted down.

The City Attorney picked at the charter change and got nice front page coverage. All the letters refuting the front page articles were buried in the paper. 

In spite of all that, LOOK AT HOW WELL WE DID! If you are thinking about doing something similar in your town, I suggest that somehow you get a list of every voter and personally call them on the phone. It may be the only way you can get something passed.

Home Next - Index of all my sites. 

Sandusky, Ohio - pictures from around the Sandusky area: Northcoast Thunder Rally, downtown Sandusky, Mulberry Creek Herb Fair. 4th of July celebration (I lived in Sandusky until January 2, 2007)

Sandusky links:

Cedar Fair
Erie County Auditor
RITA - taxes
Sandusky Register


"Where there is a strong mayor, there is a well-run city, which attracts residents and visitors," Ingraham said.

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