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Columbus, Ohio

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Columbus, Ohio
Seal of Columbus, Ohio.svg
General information
Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman - Sept 2013.JPG
Mayor:Michael B. Coleman
Mayor party:Nonpartisan
Last mayoral election:2011
Next mayoral election:2015
Last city council election:2013
Next city council election:2015
City council seats:7
2013 FY Budget:$733 million
City website
Composition data
Population in 2013:822,553
Gender:51.2% Female
Race:White 61.5%
Hispanic or Latino 5.6%
African American 28.0%
Asian 4.1%
Two or More 3.3%
Median household income:$43,992
High school graduation rate:88.2%
College graduation rate:32.9%
Related Columbus offices
Ohio Congressional Delegation
Ohio State Legislature
Ohio state executive offices
Columbus is the seat of Franklin County, Ohio, and is the state capital. As of 2013, its population was 822,553.[1]

City government

See also: Mayor-council government

The city of Columbus utilizes a "strong mayor" and city council system. In this form of municipal government, the city council serves as the city's primary legislative body and the mayor serves as the city's chief executive.[2]


The mayor serves as the city's chief executive, and is responsible for proposing a budget, signing legislation into law, appointing departmental directors and committee members and overseeing the city's day-to-day operations. The mayor may also attend city council meetings and introduce or comment upon ordinances, but does not have the power to vote in a meeting. The mayor does, however, have veto powers.[3] Michael B. Coleman is the current Mayor of Columbus.[4]

City council

The Columbus City Council is the city's primary legislative body. It is responsible for approving and adopting the city budget, levying taxes and making or amending city laws and policies. The city council also shapes land use in Columbus through its zoning authorities.[5]

Council membership

The city council consists of seven at-large members. The council elects its own president and president pro tempore. All members serve four-year, staggered terms.[6]

A full list of city council members can be found here

Boards and commissions

A series of advisory boards and commissions that are made up of non-elected citizens, whom city council members have appointed and approved, advises the Columbus City Council. The roles of these boards and commissions are to review, debate and comment upon city policies and legislation and to make recommendations to the city council.[7]

For a full list of Columbus city boards and commissions, see here.



See also: Columbus, Ohio municipal elections, 2015

The city of Columbus, Ohio will hold elections for mayor and city council on August 4, 2015. A primary will take place on May 5, 2015. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election is February 4, 2015. Four of the seven city council seats are up for election.[8]


Columbus' operating budget for fiscal year 2013 was $733 million.[9]

Contact Information

Mayor's Office
City Hall 2nd Floor
90 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 645-7671

City Council
90 West Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 645-7380


All lobbyists in the city of Columbus (both active and inactive) are listed in the city's Legislative Agent Database.

As of November 2014, information on Columbus' federal lobbying related expenses is unavailable.

Ballot measures

See also: Franklin County, Ohio ballot measures

The city of Columbus is in Franklin County. A list of ballot measures in Franklin County is available here.

Initiative process

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Ohio

Population as of the July 2011 census update: 797,434[10]

Charter city

Follows the state mandated initiative process for charter amendment, but has its own process for ordinances. There were no subject restrictions found. Signatures are required from 5% of the total vote cast at the last preceding general municipal election (Columbus Charter, Sec. 41) There were no circulator requirements found in the charter or code. The required content for the petition can be found in the Columbus Charter Sec. 41, 42. Among the requirements, a petition must have the names of 5 electors who are registered as the official filers. There is no pre-circulation approval process in the charter or code. The process for approval of the finished petition is indirect. The council may pass the measure, otherwise they shall submit it at the next ensuing election to be held not less than 60 nor more than 120 days thereafter. They may call special election within the same period. (Columbus Charter, Sec. 44)[11]

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of Ohio city websites
Budget P
Meetings P
Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning Y
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Audits Y
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Lobbying P
Public Records Y
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Local Taxes Y
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School district websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

This website was most recently evaluated on March 20, 2013.

The good

  • Meetings
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.
    • Meeting videos are available.[12]
  • Council agendas are published.[13] Additionally, meetings are available for viewing online.[14]
  • Elected officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[15]
  • Administrative officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and personalized email.[16]
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 2001 are available.[17]
  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.
    • Budgets are archived for 2 years.[18]
  • Permits and zoning
    • Zoning ordinances are posted online.
    • Permit applications can be downloaded on the site, along with information on how to apply for the permits.[19]
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.
    • Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.[20]
  • Public records
    • The public information officer is identified and maintained by the City Attorney position. This person provides a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.
    • A public records form is provided.
    • A fee schedule for documents is provided..[21]
  • Lobbying information is published.[22]
  • My Columbus app is available through Apple iTunes store.
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state, and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.
    • Residents are able to pay taxes online.[23]

The bad

  • Meetings
    • Meeting minutes are not archived for at least 3 years.
    • Meeting agendas are not archived for at least 3 years.
  • Budget
    • Budgets are not archived for at least 3 years.
  • Lobbying
    • If the county engaged in lobbying actives or if it's a member of government lobbying associations are not disclosed. Nor is the total cost lobbying activities or membership dues for associations available.

See also

External links


  1. U.S. Census, "State and County Quick Facts," accessed on August 19, 2014
  2. City Charter of Columbus, OH, Sec. 3, 17, 57 and 62-65
  3. City Charter of Columbus, OH, Sec. 24-5 and 62-5
  4. City of Columbus, "Office of the Mayor," accessed on August 18, 2014
  5. City of Columbus, "How we are governed," accessed on August 19, 2014
  6. City of Columbus, "City Council: Members," accessed on August 18, 2014
  7. City of Columbus, "Boards and Commissions," accessed on October 29, 2014
  8. Franklin County Board of Elections, "2015 Election Info," accessed September 19, 2014
  9. City of Columbus 2013 Budget, accessed on August 19, 2014
  10. US Census, "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places in Ohio: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011," accessed on October 29, 2014
  11. Columbus city charter
  12. City of Columbus, "Council calendar," accessed on August 19, 2014
  13. City of Columbus, "Agendas," accessed on August 19, 2014
  14. City of Columbus, "Online meetings," accessed on August 19, 2014
  15. City of Columbus, "Elected officials," accessed on August 19, 2014
  16. City of Columbus, "Administrative Officials," accessed on August 19, 2014
  17. City of Columbus, "CAFR Audit," accessed on August 19, 2014
  18. City of Columbus, "Budget," accessed on August 19, 2014
  19. City of Columbus, "Zoning," accessed on August 19, 2014
  20. City of Columbus, "Contracts and bids," accessed on August 19, 2014
  21. City of Columbus, "Public records," accessed on August 19, 2014
  22. City of Columbus, "Lobbyists," accessed on August 19, 2014
  23. City of Columbus, "Taxes," accessed on August 19, 2014