BG mayor asks charter commission members for their opinions on anti-fracking amendment PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Saturday, 17 August 2013 08:15
File photo. Mayor Richard Edwards (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Bowling Green Mayor Richard Edwards has reached out to citizens involved in the creation and review of the city charter for their thoughts on the petition for the proposed anti-hydraulic fracturing charter amendment that passed muster with the Wood County Board of Elections this week.
Edwards sent a letter Wednesday to the surviving members of the 1991 and 2001 charter review committees and the two surviving members of the original 1972 charter commission. "It is an issue which I see as one that may very well threaten the integrity and purpose of the city charter as a 'Home Rule' city in keeping with the Constitution of the State of Ohio,' Edwards wrote.
Friday afternoon the mayor said he hoped his effort leads citizens to read the document and understand it covers a lot more ground than hydraulic fracturing used to extract oil and gas. As of Friday afternoon he had not heard from any of the charter participants.
Edward said he is opposed to "fracking" within BG's city limits.
The mayor is hopeful that city council will consider an anti-fracking ordinance, such as City Attorney Michael Marsh drafted and presented to council at its Aug. 5 meeting. "I would like council to consider an ordinance that simply addresses fracking," he said.
Marsh's draft ordinance would ban hydraulic fracturing or similar water pressured technology when drilling for oil, natural gas and other minerals, with the exception of drilling for fresh water. Violation would be a misdemeanor of the first degree.
Edwards believes state law would  "in all likelihood trump any local law."
He said that the Coalition for Clean Water Ohio, also known as Protect BG Ohio, "is eager for a class action challenge in the courts which inevitably could result in considerable litigation and therefore heavy legal costs to the city." Edwards said the city budget has been "under severe financial strain in recent years and does not need this potential cost.
In thanking the commission members for their consideration, Edwards wrote "I would hate to see our charter become politicized or become an issue driven document. I don't believe that was the intended purpose of the charter but I could be entirely wrong or I may be 'barking up' the wrong tree."
The only two surviving members of the 1972 commission are Ted Bishop, who served as vice-chairman, and Allen R. Baldwin.
Surviving members of the 1991 review commission are Evelyn Bachman, Dr. Suzanne Crawford, Joyce Horton, Patricia McGinnis, Marsh, Richard Newlove, Patrick Ng, Alvie Perkins, Marlene Purdy, Mike Sibbersen, Ed Sitter and Marilyn Valentine.
Surviving members of the 2001 review commission are Bachman, Crawford, Dr. David Elsass, William J. Fischer, Joan Gordon, Dr. Gary Hess, Marsh, Dick Mazzeo, McGinnis, Eric Myers, Newlove and Colleen Smith.

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