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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Appeals Court Hears Arguments in Battle Over Athens Home Rule Anti-Drilling Charter

From the Athens News:
The 4th District Court of Appeals heard brief arguments Thursday morning in a local group’s appeal of the Athens County Board of Elections decision last July rejecting an anti-fracking county charter ballot proposal submitted by the group.

While supporters of the group, the Athens County Bill of Rights Committee (ACBORC), rallied in protest in the rain outside the Athens County Courthouse, chanting “Let Us Vote,” the three-judge appellate panel heard brief arguments inside the courthouse from each side in the case. A decision in the appeal case is expected no sooner than 30 days and could take several months.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn, whose office is representing the county Board of Elections in the appeal case, said attorneys for both sides Thursday morning mainly touched on points already included in their legal filings in the appeal.

The party appealing the case, described as “a committee of petitioners for the county charter proposal,” on July 28, 2017, appealed Athens County Common Pleas Judge George McCarthy’s decision to uphold the Board of Elections’ July 10 decision to not place on the November 2017 ballot the Athens County Bill of Rights Committee’s proposed county charter.

Last July, the local Board of Elections rejected the charter as invalid by stating, among other things, that a proposed executive council (comprised of county elected officials who aren’t county commissioners) does not meet Ohio Revised Code requirements for a county executive under an alternative form of government.
The whole article can be read by clicking here.

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