Fostoria City Charter Proposed Changes FAQ

Fostoria City Charter Proposed Changes:

Frequently Asked Questions

*The Fostoria Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted to endorse the proposed changes to the City Charter which will appear on the November 2 ballot*

Do the proposed changes to the Charter save the city money?                                                                                 

Yes.  The Charter eliminates the primary election and combines the positions of Council President and Mayor.

By moving to a City Manager form of government, will we, the citizens, be giving up our voice?                         

The City Council, elected by the Citizens, is responsible for all legislation.  The City Manager works for the City Council much like the Safety Service Director works for the mayor currently.  

What will be the role of the City Manager?

The City Manager will be the Chief Administrative Officer for the City.  He/she will report to Council.

Will the City Manager have to live in the City?

No, but he/she will have to be here during working hours and whenever needed.

What will be the role of the Mayor?

The Mayor will be the city representative to other governments, will act as Council President, and will appoint individuals to the various committees and commissions of the City.  He/she may also perform weddings and other ceremonies.

Will there still be a Safety Service Director?

No.  This position will be replaced by the City Manager.

Will the Finance Director still be an elected position?

No, the Finance Director will be appointed by the City Manager subject to approval by City Council.  City Council, together with the City Manager, will write the Job Description.

What about the Law Director?

The same will occur with the Law Director.

Will the Finance Director and the Law Director have to live in the City?

No, but they will have to live in one of the three counties in which Fostoria sits.

Why are these changes being proposed?

Today, anybody can run for Finance Director regardless of whether or not he/she is qualified.  This ensures that a qualified candidate is hired. 

Why the Law Director?

The current law director made this recommendation because of the limited number of lawyers living in the city who are eligible to hold this office.

Why a new Parks & Recreation Department?

Whenever a City gets into financial trouble, the parks get neglected.  The Charter creates a separate department with a separate board of trustees.  Three of the board members will be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of Council, one will be appointed by the School Board, and one by the board of the Geary Family YMCA.

When will the City emerge from Financial Emergency?

Not until a new Finance Director is hired and in place.  Several of the requirements of the State Auditor’s office deal with details and procedures within this office.

What will keep the City out of fiscal emergency in the future?

The City Manager, along with the Finance Director, is required to provide Council with a one-year budget and a five-year rolling projection of both operating funds and capital expenditures insuring much better fiscal management. 

Will the proposed City Charter affect any current City employees?


If passed, when will the changes take effect?

The Charter takes effect immediately; however, all current elected officials serve out their current term of office.  As some of these go through 2022, the Charter changes will occur over the next two years.  

Is the Charter new?

No, Fostoria has had a Charter since 2006.  Every 10 years, a Charter Commission is named to review and recommend changes to the Charter.

Who served on the Charter Review Commission?

Bob Green, Chair; Jim Schreck, Vice Chair; Bob Eatmon, Ron Hanson, Steve Kauffmann, Stephanie Kiser, Kevin Magers, Libra Martin, Don Mennel, Clayton Moore, Jonathon Puffenberger, John Schuld, Leonard Skonecki, Zack Stumpf, and Richard Zbiegien.    

Chamber Candidate Forum Videos

On October 13 the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a Candidate Forum for candidates running for City Council and Fostoria School Board as well as a presentation from the Charter Commission.   We have also published a General Election Guide, click here to learn more.   Please make sure to VOTE on NOVEMBER 2!  

We have divided the Candidate Forum into two separate videos;

Special thanks to Zach Stumpf and Scanner Media for assisting with the video recording of the event.

Charter Commission Presentation & City Council Candidates

Candidates for Fostoria Board of Education

Individual Candidate/Issue Videos

Charter Commission, Bob Green

Ward 3 City Council Candidate, Don Mennel

Ward 4 City Council Candidate, Tom Lake (incumbent)

Ward 4 City Council Candidate, Michael Spencer

Fostoria Board of Education Candidates (3 seats available)

Irene Banks

Betsy Bringman

Todd Burgei

Patrick Grine

Alexis Norris

Sharon Stannard

Ira Turner, III

Thomas Wade