After rejection, Youngstown charter amendment proponents vow fight at Supreme Court


YOUNGSTOWN

After the Mahoning County Board of Elections rejected putting two charter amendments on the Youngstown Nov. 7 ballot, supporters of the proposal said they would file legal action as soon as today to overturn the decisions.

The supporters vowed to file a mandamus act with the Ohio Supreme Court.

“We want to get this resolved in time for [the Nov. 7 ballot], but if the court doesn’t decide quickly, there may need to be a special election after the court rules in our favor,” said Susie Beiersdorfer, who backs the two charter amendments. “We will not stand by quietly.”

The board Wednesday unanimously rejected putting the charter amendments on the ballot, saying they violate state law.

One proposal would ban fracking and fracking-related activities – city voters have rejected similar ballot initiatives six previous times – and the other would change how elections are conducted in the city, including restricting who can give campaign contributions.

A new state law, House Bill 463, requires a board of elections to invalidate a local initiative petition if it determines any part of the petition falls outside the local government’s constitutional authority to enact it.

That law “has provided clarification that boards of elections do have an obligation to determine whether a municipal charter amendment falls within the scope of a city’s authority to enact via initiative, and that a municipal charter amendment shall be invalid if any portion is not within the municipality’s initiative power,” said Mark Munroe, board chairman and head of the county Republican Party. “The plain reading of both of these measures” show “that both contain provisions that are beyond the scope of cities to enact via initiative.”

Read more about the matter in Thursday's Vindicator or n Vindy.com.

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