All but two of Monroeville's five ballot questions get approved
Monroeville residents voted Nov. 6 on five ballot questions related to changing the municipality’s home rule charter.
The charter gives Monroeville officials the ability to set up the municipality’s government structure and outlines their authority and limitations. Municipalities that choose home rule can do anything not specifically denied by the state constitution, the General Assembly, or the charter itself.
Below are summaries of each question and the resulting vote, according to unofficial totals from the Allegheny County Elections Division. The results reflect 96 percent of precincts reporting at 11:15 p.m. on Tuesday .
Question 1: Failed
• The amendment grants future Monroeville councils the option to eliminate the elected tax collector role and instead appoint a treasurer to take over tax collection duties. Three councilmen urged voters in their respective wards to cast “no” votes to this question in October because, according to Councilman Steve Duncan, “Essentially, we’re taking away (the voter’s) right to vote for a tax collector.”
• 6,546 “no” votes (57.7%); 4,808 “yes” votes (42.3%)
Question 2: Passed
• The amendment updates the municipality’s purchasing and bidding procedures and exceptions. It also allows the municipality to extend contracts on goods and services. The previous rule required the municipality to enter into a contract for at least a two-year term.
• 6,338 “yes” votes (57.1%); 4,756 “no” votes (42.9%)
Question 3: Passed
• The amendment grants the municipality subpoena powers for out-of-state parties. It also corrects a provision that allowed the municipality to punish parties for ignoring subpoenas by fining or imprisonment. Now, the municipality must follow state law with any infractions it wants to apply.
• 8,217 “yes” votes (73.3%); 2,989 “no” votes (26.7%)
Question 4: Passed
• The amendment makes it so appointees to council seats only need to run to retain their seats during municipal election years. The previous rule stated appointees must run in the next election if he or she wants to serve a full term, which created confusion when Councilman Eric Poach, who was appointed in January to fill a vacancy, appeared on ballots in the 2018 primary. Monroeville sued the Allegheny County elections division over the issue, and a judge ordered the council seat be removed from general election ballots.
• 8,393 “yes” votes (75.%); 2,791 “no” votes (25%)
Question 5: Failed
• The question removes an entire section of the home rule charter that allowed the municipality to remove an elected official from office at a recall election. Recalling has been found to violate the state’s constitution.
• 5,972 “no” votes (57.2%); 4,463 “yes” votes (42.8%)
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, email@example.com or via Twitter @dillonswriting.