Review commission off to a good start

We’re pleased to see retired Judge John J. Mascio has been named to lead the panel that is reviewing the Steubenville City Charter for the first time in about 20 years.

The charter, when it was enacted in the early 1980s, was a hot topic, changing the form of government from a strong mayor to a professionally led manager-council government, with the hired manager serving as chief executive and the council as a board of directors.

The charter had growing pains through the 1980s and was reviewed and revised in 1987 and 1992 with changes approved by voters.

Enough time has passed now that the charter has been barely a matter for the headlines at all, providing a framework for the daily work of the city of Steubenville’s government.

Enough time also has passed that the original political infighting that initially plagued the government when the charter was enacted should not be a factor in any revisions presented for review and possible change to put before voters. Instead, we’re looking forward to an actual operational review, with changes based in common sense and for the betterment of the city’s operation.

Mascio is a great choice to lead that effort, having served as the city’s law director under the former strong-mayor government but having been a judge and community leader throughout the charter’s era. He knows how government should operate and he knows the law.

We know the commission has civic-minded people from business, law enforcement, academics and politics involved, ready to take testimony from government and the citizenry about what works and what might need to be adjusted in the charter.

We look forward to the review and hope that changes, if any are deemed necessary, are proposed with an eye toward a concise, efficient and professional government for the future.