Petitioners undaunted by setbacks
LISBON — The group behind efforts to place East Liverpool’s traffic camera program on the Nov. 7 ballot is examining its options after the county elections board said it was unable to take the appeal.
“We are disappointed the board of elections will not be reviewing the auditor’s decision. Our attorney is examining the ruling. We reaffirm our belief that citizens have a right to petition their government and bring issues to a vote,” said Donald Bean of East Liverpool, in an email received Friday morning.
Bean had been asked by the newspaper on Thursday via email for comment on a story about elections board Director Adam Booth saying the board was unable by law to consider the group’s appeal. Bean and others were seeking to place an initiative on the ballot challenging action taken by East Liverpool City Council establishing guidelines for the traffic camera program now in effect.
East Liverpool City Auditor Marilyn Bosco declined to send the initiative along to the elections board for placement on the ballot by the Aug. 9 filing deadline, saying the group waited too long in filing the petitions with her office. She cited a 2008 appeals court decision, which held the ballot issue in this case should have been filed as referendum, not an initiative. The court went on to say referendums must be filed within 30 days of the ordinance in dispute being passed, and in this instance Bean’s group waited nearly three months to do so.
Bean had asked the elections board to take up the appeal, but Booth said the county prosecutor’s told him earlier this week it could not consider the appeal. This means the group will likely have to go to court if it wants to challenge the city auditor’s decision.