Ohio Supreme Court asked to allow vote on Youngstown fracking ba - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Ohio Supreme Court asked to allow vote on Youngstown fracking ban

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

The City of Youngstown is asking the Ohio Supreme Court let voters in the city decide if they want to ban fracking inside city limits.

Law Director Martin Hume filed a request with the high court seeking an expedited order that would compel the Mahoning County Board of Elections and Ohio Secretary of State John Husted to place the proposed charter amendment commonly known as the Community Bill of Rights on the November 3, 2015 ballot in Youngstown.

Earlier this month, Youngstown City Council unanimously passed an ordinance directing that the proposed charter amendment be forwarded to the Mahoning County Board of Elections to be placed on the ballot.

Two days later, the Mahoning County Board of Elections voted 4-0 to deny placing the proposed charter amendment on the ballot, in spite of the fact that the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s office said that the Board had a mandatory duty to place the proposed charter amendment on the ballot.

Election Board members said the proposal is unconstitutional because state law gives the Ohio Department of Natural Resources sole and exclusive authority to regulate the permitting, location, and spacing of oil and gas wells and production operations of Ohio’s oil and gas industry.

In a statement issued Friday afternoon, Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally and Law Director Martin S. Hume stated that the filing of the complaint with the Ohio Supreme Court should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the content of the proposed amendment.

Instead, Hume says the complaint seeks to affirm citizens right to petition the government in accordance with Youngstown’s Home Rule Charter and the Constitutions of the United State and the State of Ohio.

The complaint was filed as an expedited election matter, so Hume expects prompt action from the court.

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