|Prosecutor rules no TARTA vote for Rossford|
|Written by David Dupont|
|Tuesday, 03 September 2013 15:07|
Rossford voters won’t get to decide Nov. 5 whether the city should remain a part of TARTA.
The Wood County Prosecutor’s Office has issued an opinion to the county Board of Elections that because petitions calling for the city to withdraw were not certified in time, the resolution cannot be placed on the November ballot.
Left unsettled is whether, given a two-year timeline in state law that allows members to withdraw, it could appear on next year’s ballot.
Rossford City Council voted in June to remain a member after years of complaints from residents and members of council over the regional transit system’s poor service and cost to the city.
In the end a majority of council decided public transportation is needed, and the city was too small to provide it.
Some residents, however, disagreed. They felt the decision should be made by residents, not council, just as the decision to join TARTA had been.
Donald Montague, one of those behind the petition drive, said he was disappointed by the prosecutor’s ruling, which was signed by Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dobson and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Linda Holmes.
He said the petitioners felt they had met the timelines as they understood them and provided sufficient signatures. While the petitions were submitted to the city before the deadline, there was not enough time for the full process to run its course.
City Administrator Ed Ciecka said earlier this month that city officials drove the petitions back and forth between the city offices in Rossford and the Board of Elections in Bowling Green, to cut down on the time they would be in transit.
Montague said that the group still hopes “to get this matter before the electorate.”
He said the group had been hoping that Holmes would declare a moratorium to stop the clock on the timeline established by state law.
The ruling reads: “We will address a follow-up question as to whether this initiative can be placed on the 2014 general election ballot after the ninety day filing deadline.”
The legislation, sponsored by State Sen. Randy Gardner, gave municipalities two years to decide whether they wanted to stay in. That period expires at the end of the year.
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