|To the Editor: Vote urged against BG charter amendment|
|Written by Christine Drennen|
|Wednesday, 30 October 2013 09:56|
On November 5 Bowling Green citizens will be asked to amend the city's charter. Vote NO to preserve the city's charter and our history of good governance.
Our charter is a simple document to read and understand. It deals with our number of council members, the powers of our mayor, our administrative departments, and our boards and commissions and how they are to operate. That's pretty much it. Over the years our charter has been reviewed for changes using a process involving citizens, public hearings, and civil discussion. In other words, we have a city charter that has served us well and we don't take the task of changing it lightly.
Now a small group of people (some aren't even BG residents) have managed to get a charter amendment on the ballot. Although they call themselves "Protect BG" they more aptly should be named "Risk BG." Not only are they risking our ability to enjoy good, predictable governance, their vague language is open to wide interpretation that could risk higher utility rates and BG's business-friendly reputation. Both of these outcomes could risk our ability to create or keep jobs here.
The backers of this two page sweeping amendment will tell you it is to prohibit fracking within city limits. This is a solution in search of a problem. The city already has an ordinance prohibiting this. What's more, the ordinance is about five sentences long. When you are done reading it, you know what it says: fracking in the city limits is prohibited and enforced with the criminal code. The proposed amendment is nearly three full pages of language so sweeping that its own proponents can't even seem to agree upon its meaning.
We elect our mayor and council members who in turn appoint and oversee the work of department heads and commission members. They have a great record of decisions that balance sustainability with economic viability. Don't let a handful of misguided people circumvent those we have entrusted to lead and put Bowling Green at risk.
Go to www.bgohio.org to compare our charter and this unwieldy proposed amendment. Read the unanimously approved ordinance banning fracking too. It is on the same webpage under City Council -2013 Agendas, Minutes & Legislation Adopted (see September 16). Then go vote on November 5 and vote NO on the charter amendment.
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