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Anti-fracking issue on May 7 ballot triggers controversy: Can it be enforced?

Published: Sun, April 28, 2013 @ 5:00 p.m.

Anti-fracking issue on May 7 ballot triggers controversy: Can it be enforced?


Supporters of a Youngstown anti-fracking charter amendment on the May 7 ballot say the proposal returns the rights to clean air, pure water and self-government to the people.

But opponents of the citizens-based initiative see the proposal quite differently.

First, they say, the proposal isn’t enforceable; something disputed by the Committee for the Proposed Amendment to the Charter of the City of Youngstown, the group backing the amendment.

“If it’s adopted, it will be part of the city law,” said James B. Callen, the group’s legal counsel. “If it’s passed, it’s the law. If someone believes it’s not enforceable, it can be challenged. This has been adopted around the country. If the citizens of Youngstown adopt the amendment, it’s the law for the city.”

The ballot language calls for Youngstown to circumvent the federal and state constitutions. No city charter amendment can legally do that, said Atty. Alan Wenger, a member of the Mahoning Valley Coalition for Job Growth and Investment, an organization opposed to the proposal.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com.

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