Columbus to move up in state’s city classification

Columbus City Council has approved plans to make Columbus a second-class city.

The council gave its final approval last night for the measure which would change some of the ways the city is governed. Under the second class designation, the city would add two members to the City Council, the elected clerk-treasurer would become an elected clerk, while the city would appoint a comptroller to assume oversight of the city finances.

Columbus has been eligible for the higher classification for more than 20 years, but had opted to remain the largest third class city in the state.

A resident questioned the plan last night, saying that the city would dilute residents’ representation by expanding the council and would add more than $100,000 a year of extra expenses, without any direct benefit to the taxpayers. That comes on top of already high costs for residents such as for gasoline, he said. And residents would not be able to vote for the comptroller, as they now vote for the clerk-treasurer, he said.

Council voted 5-1 to approve the plan, with Frank Miller opposing the measure.

Following the City Council’s approval, the change won’t go into effect until January of 2024.