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Decision to Appeal Charter Initiative Denied

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The Athens County Board of elections unanimously decided against appealing Athens County Common Pleas Judge McCarthy’s order to allow the petition for a charter government to appear on the November ballot.

Board member Kate McGuckin motioned to not appeal, with member Ken Ryan seconding the motion.

Penny Brooks, Deputy Director of the Board of elections, claims the board denied the appeal due to the protest that was filed by Joanne Prisley on July 29, and because the Secretary of State, Jon Husted, will make a decision.

“We will go with the process to put it on the ballot until the Secretary of State decides on what to do,” Brooks said.

Brooks and the board received a directive from the Secretary of State today claiming he will thoroughly review the charter and make a decision no later than August 13.

The charter would make it illegal to dispose of waste water from hydraulic fracturing in the county or use water from the county for the process.

Judge McCarthy allowed the petition for a charter government to go on the ballot on July 15 after it was previously denied by the board. He approved the issue giving the measure to be placed in voters hands.

The thought of a charter government raised some issues when it was approved to be on the ballot. Lenny Eliason, Athens County Commissioner, viewed the charter government as problematic, saying it would take away domain powers in the county.

The board recognized the numerous protests taken place in favor of the charter government, but agreed the charter still raises questions about the benefits it would bring Athens County.

The board agreed to wait for Husted’s decision and to go with whatever he decides.