Status of the Charter Petition

June 26, 2019

Williams County Alliance delivers 96 petitions containing 2,534 signatures to Board of Elections.  1,364 valid signatures needed to qualify for the 10 percent of total number of voters who cast ballots in the last presidential election.

July 3, 2019

Bryan Times  article by Ron Osburn reports Terry Lodge, Attorney for Williams County Alliance, informed the Board of Elections of the Ohio Revised Code Section 307.94 which required their certification procedure completed by the 120th day prior to the Nov. 6 general election.  This would require a meeting on July 8, not July 16 as the BOE had initially planned.

July 8, 2019

Williams County Board of Elections finds charter petition invalid.  The number of valid signatures, 2077, was far more than the 1.364 required.  “County Elections Director A.J. Nowaczyk said that based on his conversations with the board’s legal counsel — County Prosecutor Katie Zartman — and in his own opinion, language in the proposed charter issue exceeds the scope of the powers afforded to local governments by the state.” (Bryan Times, July 9, 2019 article by Max Reinhart)

This action by the BOE is based on legislation passed in 2016, HB463.  We have posted some arguments against HB463.

July 16, 2019

Williams County Court of Common Pleas hears arguments between Petition proponents and Board of Elections defenders.  A decision whether to allow the petition to be placed on the ballot must be given by the Judge before 4:00 pm on July 17, the 111th day before the November 5 election.

July 17, 2019

Williams County Common Pleas Court Judge J.T. Stelzer  upholds Board of Elections decision to prevent the people of Williams County from voting on the Charter Petition.

(Reader Alert: See Bryan Times, report July 18, 2019 for complete story)

In the above Bryan Times report Williams County Commissioner Terry Rummel comes out in oppostion to the Charter.  His statement is available here, along with a response here.

In a July 17 Bryan Times report the Bryan Area Chamber of Commerce comes out in opposition to the Charter.  A response to their objections may be found here.

July 20, 2019

Bryan times reports on “New rules for state aquifers.”

July 27, 2019

Williams County Alliance will initiate an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.  For the complete Bryan Times report, see here.

September 5, 2019

From the Bryan Times report:  “The Ohio Supreme Court in a unanimous decision Tuesday upheld the Williams County Board of Elections’ decision earlier this summer blocking the Williams County Alliance from placing a county charter initiative on the November ballot.  The entire Bryan Times Article is available here.