Editor’s note: This column is the first in an ongoing series of columns titled “Just the Facts.” These columns will be written by Huber Heights City Staff about topics of interest throughout the year in an effort to be informative and to share information. I thank City Manager Rob Schommer and his staff for partnering with the Huber Heights Courier in this endeavor.
As a goal for 2017, I have set out to utilize additional sources to inform the citizens and business owners of Huber Heights of what is going on in our City. “Just the Facts” will be featured monthly with upcoming events and community engagement information. In this month’s article, we will cover a brief history of Huber Heights, explain our legal form of government and summarize issues on the May 2017 ballot.
With the recent birthday of Huber Heights turning 36 on January 23rd let’s take a look back at some of the milestones and history that has paved the way to where we are today. Prior to 1810, this area was part of Dayton Township, and one of the first land owners was Benjamin Van Cleve who was a land surveyor for the government. Van Cleve built a home on Troy Pike later known as the Tall Timbers. That home was the site of the first recorded wedding for Dayton Township between Van Cleve and his bride, Mary Whitten. Van Cleve himself created much history for the area as the first Clerk of Courts, the first Post Master, and a teacher in the first school in Dayton. On January 1, 1810, Wayne Township was formed as the sixth township created in Montgomery County. The township was named in honor of General Anthony Wayne. Through the next century, the area continued to bring more settlement and growth, including the construction of the Miami-Erie Canal. There is a remaining restored canal lock on Endicott Road.
By the 1950’s Charles Huber started constructing the signature “Huber Homes” throughout the township. These homes would be the foundation on which the City was built. Charles Huber’s investment in the community provided a naming opportunity to the City that was about to be born, Huber Heights. After the official incorporation in 1981, City Leaders took aggressive actions to ensure future growth and economic stability by securing and obtaining the land known today as Center Point 70. Today Center Point 70 is one of the premier commercial and industrial sites in the region. In addition, the City leaders acquired the water utility from Ohio Suburban allowing the City to control operation, expansion and cost. Today Huber Heights still enjoys the third lowest combined water and sewer utility rates in the region. Huber Heights covers land in Montgomery County and a portion of Miami County, is the 3rd largest municipality in the area, and 32nd largest in the State.
The City of Huber Heights is a municipal corporation operating under a Charter. The City Charter creates policy, authorities, and positions in a document similar to a Constitution. Being a Chartered City, Huber Heights can enjoy certain provisions of “Home Rule”, allowing the electorate of the City to set and establish governance.
The Huber Heights Charter created a modified Council-Manager form of government, which creates six Ward elected positions, two at-large elected positions, and an elected Mayor position. The Mayor serves as the presiding officer of Council meetings, and is the ceremonial head of the government for non-administrative purposes. The elected Council members have the power to pass resolutions and ordinances to create policy and allocate authority and responsibility to carry out the municipal functions. The appointed City Manager is the Chief Executive and Administrative Officer of the City. The City Manager is responsible to Council for administering the day-to-day business of the City, set and established through the Charter, resolutions, and ordinances passed by Council. The City Manager appoints Department and Division Directors, and is the hiring authority for all other employees of the City with the exception of the Clerk of Council and the Law Director.
Next week’s article will explore the City Charter and proposed amendments that will be on the May ballot.
Rob Schommer is the Huber Heights City Manager. He can be reached at 237-5827.