By Jeff Gallatin
City officials Monday moved to make any potential future primary election filing date coincide with other communities.
Council introduced legislation that would make the final filing date for candidates or other issues more in line with state guidelines.
“This started with a phone call, a letter from the (Ohio) Secretary of State’s office and Cuyahoga County,” Bay Village law Director Gary Ebert said. “We had a set date, but the state felt it would be better to set the deadline for 90 days before the actual election itself.”
Bay Village voters approved a charter amendment several years ago approving having a primary if there were sufficient candidates. City officials then set primary dates for use if necessary. However, council later approved legislation changing the date to conform with other Cuyahoga County communities. They noted it would save the city at least an estimated $30,000 by having it at the same time as the other communities, because Cuyahoga County would then pick up the bulk of the election costs. They also said it should cause less confusion for voters if the city primary election were the same date as that for other issues and candidates.
Ebert said there were similar issues involved in this election filing date change as well.
“If we stuck with our own set date, we could have had an election on a Saturday or Sunday at some point, and that’s not something you would want,” he said.
Dwight Clark, chairman of City Council’s Environment, Safety and Community Services Committee, said Friday.
“My understanding is that there is a need to ensure proper advance notification, and that this would help fulfill that,” he said. “We’re happy to help make sure the process is smoother for everybody.”
Clark added that like other changes, it would help save money by having Bay Village’s primary dates and guidelines coincide with others in Cuyahoga County, meaning the county will pay the bulk of any primary election costs instead of the city having to pay more for holding a primary on its own date.