Council to set bond rates


By Frank Lewis

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The city of Portsmouth continues to update its charter, making changes in wording and references. Among those being considered is one in which employees of the city of Portsmouth are expected to have their rate set for bonding them against any loss due to dishonest acts of personnel, with the largest bond being that of the city auditor at $200,000.

City council was expected to give first reading to an ordinance Monday night that amends Section 169.15 which deals with bonds of the Codified Ordinances of the city of Portsmouth.

Topping the list is the position of city auditor, who will give bond in the amount of $200,000 and that bond is to be given before entering into the performance of that office.

The ordinance changes the wording dealing with “mayor” to “city manager” and sets that bond at $25,000, which is the same amount set for clerk or courts and bailiff.

Section 159 of the city charter calls for the mayor, now city manager, the city auditor, the city treasurer and such other officers or employees as the council may require to do so to do, give bonds in such amount and with such surety as may be approved by the council. The section concludes – “The premium on such bonds may be paid by the city.”

If an officer fails to give bond as directed, Ohio Revised Code 3.30 will apply. Section 3.20 reads – “A person elected or appointed to an office who is required by law to give a bond or security previous to the performance of the duties imposed on him by his office, who refuses or neglects to give such bond or furnish such security within the time and in the manner prescribed by law, and in all respects to qualify himself for the performance of such duties, is deemed to have refused to accept the office to which he was elected or appointed. Such office shall be considered vacant and shall be filled as provided by law.”

The ordinance goes on to say – “All other officers and employees shall be included in public employees blanket position bond or bonds indemnifying the city against loss due to dishonest acts of personnel included in such bonds. Excess bonding of the deputy auditor and/or income tax commissioners may be set by the auditor. Additional surety for faithful performance of all police officers and patrolmen shall be included in such bonds.”

According to the ordinance, such blanket bond of bonds are to be purchased from a surety company licensed to issue such bonds in the state and shall be in an amount of not less than $50,000 for each employee. Those bonds are to be kept in the custody of the city auditor except for the bond of the city auditor which shall be filed with the city clerk.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewi

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