Anti-fracking backers praise the Ohio Supreme Court decision to put Youngstown proposal back on ballot

Staff report


An Ohio Supreme Court decision compelling the Mahoning County Board of Elections to put an anti-fracking charter amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot in Youngstown is a victory for democracy, backers of the proposal say.

Members of Frack Free Mahoning Valley spoke in front of the board of elections office Thursday, a week after the high court ruled 7-0 that the board lacked authority to not certify the citizens initiative.

“We are here out of concern for protecting the public health, safety, welfare and fairness for all communities, and our children, grandchildren and their grandchildren,” said Susie Beiersdorfer, a Frack Free member.

This will be the fifth time the proposal will be on the ballot. It was rejected twice in both 2013 and 2014.

Beiersdorfer also criticized the board of elections for wasting taxpayer money to pay a law firm up to $30,000 to defend its decision in front of the court.

Bill Padisak, president of the Mahoning-Trumbull AFL-CIO Labor Council, and a member of Voters for Ballot Integrity, which opposes the proposed charter amendment, said, “I’m disappointed it will be on the ballot again and be a waste of taxpayer dollars. We’ll make the citizens aware it’s unenforceable and it’s bad legislation.”

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