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Take back the city with a yes vote

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Take back the city with a yes vote

The citizens of Youngstown need to take back local control by passing the Community Bill of Rights.

It is the policy of our government, federal and state, to at all times enlarge the powers of the people in matters of local self-government, rather than restrict them.

Section 2 of Article I of the Ohio Constitution states: “All political power is inherent in the people, Government is instituted for their equal protection and benefit, and they have a right to alter, reform or abolish the same, whenever they deem it necessary.”

The Municipal League protested to Republican Gov. Bob Taft about the preemptive state laws being passed to give oil and gas corporations power over Ohio residents, in this 2004 letter:

“Our opposition to HB278 is very straightforward: we do not believe that the General Assembly should attempt to rip from the hands of municipal government major land use decisions and give that power, through the promulgation of rules, to the Department of Natural Resources. If all of these regulations are so important, why are they not done as statute? As you know, administrative regulation development and enactment are often less susceptible to full public scrutiny and more susceptible to influence by the regulated community. Whether such a transfer pertained to the siting of oil and gas wells or other specific industries, we believe that such matters are best decided locally.

“Furthermore, we believe that such regulatory power is vested in municipal government by the Home Rule clause of the Ohio Constitution. ... If this bill is enacted for the oil and gas industry, our members will wonder what other industry the General Assembly will believe in the future should have a free pass around local planning and zoning. If an oil & gas well is appropriate in every schoolyard and residential neighborhood, what other industry will the General Assembly deem so important as to be next offered such a free pass?”

Our residents’ health and safety is being endangered by the dangerous, unregulated, deregulated, experimental hydrofracturing industry and this must be stopped.

Vote yes May 7 for the Youngstown Community Bill of Rights to protect your family’s drinking water.

Lynn Anderson, Youngstown