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BROOKFIELD Zoning issue misses deadline for ballot



Published: Sat, August 31, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Paperwork didn't get to the assistant prosecutor until five days after the deadline, the prosecutor's office says.

By TIM YOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

BROOKFIELD -- A controversial township zoning issue won't appear on the November general election ballot because the Aug. 22 filing deadline was missed.

"We're certainly not too happy with it," township Trustee Gary P. Lees said Friday.

"It was our mistake," Trustee J. Philip Schmidt added.

Trustees agreed Aug. 15 to place the issue on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Brookfield is one of only four townships in Trumbull County without zoning.

Lees explained that after trustees agree to have an issue placed before voters, clerk Roger C. Paroz takes the paperwork to the county prosecutor's office.

Atty. James Saker, an assistant county prosecutor in the civil division, reviews the resolution to assure it's in the proper form.

Didn't get documents

Saker said he didn't receive the documents from the township until Tuesday, five days after the filing deadline for issues at the board of elections.

Saker said he checked his office mailbox Tuesday morning and the documents weren't there. He got them that afternoon.

"Paroz didn't get it in on time," Lees asserted. "We're certainly not too happy with it." Paroz couldn't be reached.

Lees said the clerk is familiar with the procedure because police and fire issues have been placed on the ballot through the same procedure.

Lees said the township zoning commission worked hard so the issue could be presented to the public this fall.

Also, Atty. Mark Finamore has been paid to attend zoning meetings to give the commission legal opinions.

Schmidt said there was a "misunderstanding" about the deadline.

"I should have followed up," he said.

"If it's not here on the 22nd, it's too late, said Lyn Augustine, elections board deputy director. "The law is pretty clear on that."

Schmidt said the issue may not go before voters now until the November 2003 election.

Special-election costs

A special election would cost thousands of dollars. Since there is no primary in the township next May, next year's general election may be the first opportunity to get the issue on the ballot, Schmidt said.

He noted trustees will meet with the zoning commission to determine what to do.

This would have been the fourth time since 1982 that zoning appeared on the ballot here.

The last time was in 2001, when it lost by 169 votes.

yovich@vindy.com




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