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75 percent vote against BG charter amendment PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel Staff   
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 00:37

Bowling Green voters Tuesday overwhelming rejected a charter amendment that proponents claimed would prevent hydraulic fracturing and related activity in the city.
With all 19 precincts reporting the count was 3,549 no votes or 75 percent, to 1,194 yes votes or 25 percent. The proposal was the result of an initiative petition that collected nearly twice the number of signatures required to make the ballot. Several hundred people less than the number who signed the petition cast favorable ballots Tuesday.
Mayor Richard Edwards, who spearheaded a coalition to preserve the city charter, was elated with the outcome.
“While the exercise of protecting the city charter was frustrating at times, in a more positive sense the issue focused attention on the purpose and intent of the charter and council’s prescribed legislative role,” Edwards said.
“The debate also gave added credibility to the independent voice of the city’s Board of Public Utilities and its admirable track record in providing the best possible drinking water, outstanding sewerage treatment services and affordable electric power for residents and businesses alike.”
Edwards said the city will continue to pursue opportunities for lessening dependency on fossil fuels and noted that a city ordinance signed into law Sept. 17 makes fracking a criminal offense.
Proponents of The City of Bowling Green Community Bill of Rights argued from the start that a charter amendment was the only way to protect the city from fracking and said city council was wasting its time with an ordinance banning fracking.
A phone message left with Lisa Kochheiser, of the Fresh Water Accountability Project, had not been returned by the time this story was posted.
City officials said the charter amendment was not in keeping with the tone of the charter and also would leave the city and its residents open to large utility rate hikes and unwanted legal bills.
Proponents said the language in the amendment was aspirational and residents need not worry about rate hikes.

Voters in Youngstown Tuesday defeated a similar amendment for the second time in six months. The vote there was 45 percent in favor and 55 percent against.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 November 2013 01:15

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