|BG Council does its duty on fracking proposal|
|Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff|
|Tuesday, 20 August 2013 09:33|
Bowling Green City Council has forwarded a proposed charter amendment that would ban hydraulic fracturing in the city to the Wood County Board of Elections for inclusion on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Know officially as "The City of Bowling Green Community Bill of Rights," the initiative petition was certified last week by the board of elections with nearly double the required number of valid signatures.
Council President John Zanfardino and other council members noted that council's action was simply following the law regarding initiative petitions that have cleared BOE review.
Council also introduced and gave first reading to its own ordinance, with less verbage, that would ban fracking in the city.
Both actions followed comments both for and against the proposals, with most focused on the proposed charter amendment.
Representatives of the Northwest Ohio Building Trades and the Plumbers and Steamfitters of Northwest Ohio, spoke against the proposals. Both indicated the oil and gas exploration in eastern Ohio is providing much-needed jobs and also benefits Northwest Ohio residents who can find jobs in that area.
One speaker noted that the Athens County Board of Elections has refused to place a similar issue on the ballot for the city of Athens.
According to the Aug. 15 Athens Messenger the refusal followed a protest hearing on behalf of seven Athens residents. The vote was 3-0, with one abstention. The abstaining member did so because they had signed the petition. Supporters of the petition have indicated they plan to challenge the decision in court.
BG resident Lisa Kochheiser, who has been heavily involved in the petition drive, said the "Community Bill of Rights" is aimed at helping the community remain a safe and healthy place and "to protect BG businesses and citizens."
Terry Lodge, the group's legal representative, started out saying he simply wanted to point out that council was required to pass the issue onto the BOE and lamented the action in Athens County. The statement continued for several minutes with some council members asking questions and Lodge talking about drilling accidents in West Virginia.
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