Five on BG council against amendment PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 11:15
Five of seven Bowling Green City Council members said Monday night they oppose the Citizen's Bill of Rights charter amendment on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Mike Aspacher, Daniel Gordon, Bruce Jeffers, Robert McOmber and Robert Piasecki said they all plan to vote against the charter amendment.
Council President John Zanfardino said he will vote in favor. At-Large Member Sandy Rowland said she sees both sides of the issue but said how she votes is "sacred."
Aspacher and Gordon are unopposed in their reelection bids, while Jeffers is in the middle of a four-year term. McOmber is seeking reelection to an at-large seat. Rowland is seeking to retain her at-large seat and Piasecki is seeking to retain his Fourth Ward seat. Both Rowland and Piasecki were appointed to fill unexpired terms.
Zanfardino is unopposed in his bid for a new term to represent the Second Ward. Zanfardino said early on he was "walking the petition" but stopped after deciding it probably wasn't a good idea for a council member to be involved in the effort. He said he did not see a problem with the amendment.
Council comments followed a question from retired BG Municipal Administrator Colleen Smith, who said she had not been able to determine their stands based on her attendance at a League of Women Voters of BG candidate forum on Oct. 13.
Before asking for the poll of council, Smith praised the body for its unanimous approval of an ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing in the city. "I was not surprised you took that action," she said.
Following Smith in the Lobby Visitation portion of the meeting, Terry Lodge, attorney for the group promoting the charter amendment, took the floor "to dispel the crass disinformation campaign" against the amendment mounted by the city. Lodge said the city would have people believe that "all life would become impossible in Bowling Green with the charter amendment."
He assured BG residents that they need not fear predicted large utility rate increases and urged council to get its own legal advice, rather than pay attention to the city's director of public works or city attorney. He called the predictions of rate increases a "red herring" and said it is council's business to "make decisions in the public's interest. An intelligent, reasoned and informed debate would be beneficial."
City Attorney Michael Marsh stood by the information provided, pointing out that the proposal uses the words "any corporation," thus in his mind making no exception for BG being a municipal corporation. "Any judge would see the plain meaning. It (the question) answers itself."
Marsh also said the city decided against a suggestion from representatives of the oil and gas industry to try to keep the proposal off the ballot. "We thought the people ought to be allowed to vote. The industry might be as mad at us (the city) as they are at them (charter promoters)," Marsh said.
To a concern of Lodge that a political action committee formed to oppose the amendment is operating "in secret," Marsh noted that pre-election reports are due with the board of elections Thursday.
Council also:
• Approved an S-district site plan to allow construction of a 30-foot by 50-foot garage at Falcon Pointe, 912 Klotz Road, and an amendment to the zoning code allowing the BG Zoning Board of Appeals to grant variances for driveways in residential districts.
• Heard an invitation from Municipal Administrator John Fawcett for the public to watch firefighter physical agility testing today and Wednesday at the Carter Park water tower. He said 140 people signed up to take the test for a chance to fill a spot in the fire division. Candidates have 14 minutes to complete eight tests to qualify to take a written examination.
• Approved legislation increasing the age for original appointment as a firefighter from 18 to 36 years to 18 to 41 years, to comply with state law.
• Approved legislation to participate with the Ohio Department of Transportation to upgrade traffic signals and street signs along Ohio 64 (Wooster Street) and at Ohio 25 (Main Street) and Newton Road. The lights and signs will be similar to those installed during the North Main Street rebuild.
• Heard Vic Gable and Jo Sipes speak in favor of Wood Lane's 2.95 mill levy on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 11:17

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