Hilliard passes Issue 33: drops mayor in favor of city manager

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There is a big change coming in Hilliard.

The residents of the city voted to change its form of government from mayor, to city manager Tuesday night, passing Issue 33 with 59 percent of the vote.

Current Mayor Don Schonhardt’s fourth consecutive term ends on Dec. 31, 2019 and the city manager will take over on Jan. 1, 2020. It is important to note there will still be a mayor for the City of Hilliard – but that title goes to the City Council President.

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The change signifies the end of the way things have been done in Hilliard for the last 165 years.

The city manager will have the power to implement the city’s operations, budget and policies, as well as hire and fire department directors.

“Hilliard has grown. In 1990 we had a little over 10,000 residents and now in 2018 we have over 34,000 residents,” council member Andy Teater said. “As we’ve grown, the need for professional management in the city’s administration is important.”

Hilliard isn’t alone in this form of government, though, Westerville, Worthington and Dublin have similar setups.

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