Perkins Township Limited Home Rule
Limited Home Rule is a complicated topic. The resources below will help shed some light on what you need to know to make an informed decision.
Limited Home Rule Overview
Limited Home Rule status allows larger, urbanized townships to operate more efficiently to address the needs of its constituents, while maintaining a strategic position allowing the Township to choose or not to choose to take advantage of future State legislation that only applies to Limited Home Rule Townships. Townships with Limited Home Rule governments operate under Section 504 and 505 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Limited Home Rule would provide our local government the power to make decisions based on local need, rather than leaving those decisions to State control. If passed, Perkins Township:
- Propose or enact an income tax
- Exercise any power in conflict with state laws.
- Enact any taxes other than those authorized by a vote of the electors.
- Change, alter, combine, eliminate or modify form or structure of existing Township government.
- Establish or revise:
- Subdivision regulations.
- Road construction standards.
- Stormwater and drainage regulations.
- Building standards.
- Change regulations related to agricultural areas
- Hunting, trapping or fishing regulations.
- Possession, use or sale of firearms.
- Utilize broader powers to efficiently and promptly handle nuisances such as high grass and weeds, trash, junk vehicles, and noise.
- Regulate traffic and parking on Township streets and roads.
- Allow for extension of financing periods for equipment.
- Formalize passing resolutions requiring separate readings, except for emergency measures.
- Regulate adult entertainment establishments.
- Regulate residency of sex or child-victim offenders.
The question of whether to enact Limited Home Rule will be a ballot issue in the next general election, taking place Nov. 8, where the decision will be determined by a majority of the electors.
About Limited Home Rule
- Perkins Township must place the issue of becoming a Limited Home Rule Township before electors at a general election.
- A Limited Home Rule Township continues to operate with three elected trustees and a fiscal officer.
- A Limited Home Rule Township does not have the same authority as a charter municipality.
- All policies must be considered at a Board of Trustee meeting, open to the public, and a resolution must be passed.
- Current operations will remain the unchanged. Departments include Police, Fire, Public Works, Community Development (Building, Zoning, & Code Enforcement), Administration, Recreation and Parks.
- Staffing levels have decreased over the last decade and Limited Home Rule does not require an increase in staff for any departments.
- There is NO duplication of services or duties correlated to becoming a Limited Home Rule Township. The Township meets all requirements including having a Law Director and Police Department. The Township has no intention of creating a sewer or water district as Erie County has one. The Township will continue to handle zoning amendments and other applications, as well as higher level planning such as the creation of the Comprehensive Plan and Neighborhood Plan at the Township level. The Township will continue to review building plans, issue permits, conduct inspections, maintain roads and parks, and provide recreation programming.
- The Township has a partnership that will continue with many local entities including the Erie County Commissioners, Regional Planning, Engineer’s Office, Prosecutor’s Office, Erie County Economic Development Corporation, Perkins Local Schools, Greater Sandusky Partnership, Firelands Forward, NASA, Regional Dispatching through the Erie County Sheriff’s Officer, and many more!
- Perkins Township is the second largest political subdivision, based on population, in Erie County yet operates without income tax revenue.
- Changes in the State and Local Government Fund Transfers, personal property tax, and estate tax have significantly reduced the Township’s funding.
- As a result, levies have been required.
- Township property taxes almost exclusively reflect millage approved by the voters for Police, Fire, and Road levies.
Limited Home Rule status allows larger, urbanized townships to operate more efficiently to address the needs of its constituents, and it allows the Township to choose or not to chose to take advantage of future State legislation that only applies to Limited Home Rule Townships. Most importantly, an income tax CANNOT BE PROPOSED OR ENACTED and property tax CAN ONLY be increased with voter approval.
1. How will Limited Home Rule resolutions be enforced?
Limited Home Rule townships may adopt and enforce resolutions, though generally cannot create criminal offenses, or impose criminal penalties. Limited Home Rule townships must also provide police services.
2. What happens if township resolutions (e.g., a property maintenance code) resulting from the implementation of Limited Home Rule are violated?
Limited Home Rule townships may enforce resolution by requiring code compliance.
3. Can Limited Home Rule government be terminated?
Limited Home Rule can be terminated via petition of the electors and a subsequent vote, or via the Board of Township Trustees and a subsequent vote of the electors.
4. Can resolutions be revised or amended?
Yes. However, all resolutions will require two readings before they are approved and effective, providing more transparency of Township business.
5. What impact might Limited Home Rule have on law enforcement, if any?
Limited Home Rule government has the authority to adopt and enforce regulations relating to public health, safety, and the general welfare of township residents, including local police, sanitary and others. This authority is typically used to regulate noise and nuisances or impose things like leash laws or curfews. It cannot be used to create or enforce any regulation conflicting with existing state laws.
6. Does Limited Home Rule impact any previously established rules or laws existing within Perkins Township?
Limited Home Rule does not have any impact on previously established Township government acts. All rules and laws in place at the time Limited Home Rule government is implemented continue as is until otherwise amended or rescinded.
7. How will the township address any violations of the new Limited Home Rule guidelines before Limited Home Rule was enacted?
Limited Home Rule does not have any impact on previously established prosecutions or proceedings – civil or criminal – even those pending when the new government goes into effect.
8. If enacted, when would Limited Home Rule go into effect?
Limited Home Rule would be effective January 1, 2023.