To the Editor: Anti-fracking issue doesn’t belong in the city charter
Written by Stuart Stearns   
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 10:02
Preamble to the charter of the City of Bowling Green
We, the people of Bowling Green, in the county of Wood, and in the State of Ohio, desirous of securing for our city and for ourselves and our children the advantages of self-government conferred by the home-rule provisions of the Ohio constitution, do hereby ordain and establish the following charter. (This charter was approved by the electorate 10-31-72.)
Home rule is the power of a local city or county to set up its own system of self-government without receiving a charter from state. A home rule charter is, in essence, a local constitution.
The charter was reviewed in 1991 and again in 2001. Some changes were made, some changes offered were rejected and this was done with many meetings with members of the administration and employees of the city, then subjected to a number of public hearings for citizen input, set forth to council, and finally presented to the city population for voting. The charter is designed to give direction to how the Administration of Bowling Green is to be decided and then how to run the city.
Having served as a co-chair of the 2001 charter review commission, I see no place in the charter for issues. The charter was never intended to be an issues document and that issues are the responsibility of city council. Issues are dealt with by ordinances, which is explained in the charter. There is also a section in the charter for dealing with unwanted ordinances called a referendum. I would urge voters to see the link to the city charter found in the internet connection to City of Bowling Green and read the charter.
The city council has already passed an ordinance against fracking which should cover the issue and if this has not been done properly or is unwanted by the citizens of Bowling Green then they are able to propose a referendum to change the ordinance.
I urge the citizens of Bowling Green to vote no on the amendment to the charter and then if needed seek restitution by referendum on the fracking ordinance.
Stuart Stearns
Bowling Green
 

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