Board says no to electric rate ballot issue


The Crawford County Board of Elections said no Monday afternoon to a initiative petition request by Citizens for Galion for an audit of the city’s electric rate structure.

The board ruled 4-0 not to place the issue on the ballot after the group had previously certified the signatures.

“Everyone in the city (administration) is pleased with the decision,” Galion Law Director Thomas Palmer said. “We felt that we had strong arguments from the beginning.”

The city based its case on the following issues.

* The proposed ordinance may not be submitted to the voters under the general initiative provisions in state law due to the special provisions in Article XVIII, Sections 4 & 5 of the Ohio Constitution governing the municipal operations of Public Utilities

* The proposed ordinance may not be submitted to the voters due to Ohio’s overriding laws governing fiscal emergency

* The proposed ordinance, if adopted, would constitute an unlawful delegation of legislative authority

“The board found sufficient grounds on each part to grant the protest and not place the issue on the ballot,” Crawford County Prosecutor Matthew Crall said.

The board gave its decision verbally, but will issue a written decision on the matter.

Citizens for Galion representative Roberta Wade, who argued in favor of the group, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

As of today, the petition will not be on November’s ballot.

We’ll continue to update this breaking story here.

Citizens for Galion representative Roberta Wade questions Auditor Brian Treisch during a hearing Monday at the Crawford County Board of Elections.
http://galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_wade.jpgCitizens for Galion representative Roberta Wade questions Auditor Brian Treisch during a hearing Monday at the Crawford County Board of Elections.

By Chris Pugh

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