Posted: 7:00 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12, 2012
This is the last year Middletown will have a ward system for at least the next decade, the next time when the city’s charter review commission will meet. The Middletown Journal reviewed all of the meeting minutes from the 1989/1990 and 2009 charter review commission sessions, the times when the city went to and then from the ward system.
Middletown’s ward system
The city’s first ward elections came in 1888 where there were two representatives elected from the city’s four wards
In 1893, the city wards were redistricted because of an increased population due to annexations.
Wards were eliminated outside of “administrative purposes” in 1913 when the city established home rule — a right given to the city when the Ohio Constitution permitted it a year earlier — and the number on city council dropped to five members.
There was a failed attempt in 1981 to change council’s five at-large representatives to four ward representatives and a mayor who was elected at-large.
The 1989/1990 Charter Review Commission recommended to City Council to increase the council to seven members and establish four ward seats to match the mayor and three at-large seats.
Council voted to place the issue on the ballot and supported by voters.
In 2009, the Charter Review Commission recommended to City Council to reverse course from the 1989/1990 commission by eliminating the ward system and reducing the number of council representatives from seven to five. The issue was placed on the ballot and supported by voters. The changes take effect in January 2014.
Types of city councils
Council model / 25,000 to 69,999 population / 70,000 to 199,999 population / 200,000 and over population
At-large / 48.9 percent / 43.7 percent / 16.4 percent
Ward, or district / 25 percent / 25.4 percent / 38.2 percent
Hybrid / 26.1 percent / 31 percent / 45.5 percent
Source: National League of Cities