Saturday, August 28, 1999

Petition rule to be clarified in Forest Park

Voters in villages to decide on levies

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Two levy issues and a charter amendment will greet voters in Glendale, Forest Park and Greenhills in November.

        In Forest Park, City Council is asking voters to clarify how many signatures should be present on a petition for a charter change.

        In recent years, according to a report by council's Charter Revision Committee, several resident-initiated petitions for changes to the city charter contained signatures from 10 percent of the Forest Park residents who voted in the last general election.

        However, after a review of the city charter and the Ohio Constitution the committee determined the petitions should contain signatures from at least 10 percent of the total registered voters.

        “Changes to the charter deserve the most careful consideration by council and the electors of the city before adoption,” committee Chairman John Lesick wrote in a report to council.

        “The committee believes it was the intention of the framers of the charter and the (state constitution) that a petition for amendment ... require 10 percent of the electors.”

        In Glendale, residents will decide the fate of a 2.5-mill increase targeted for road improvements and upgrades to the village's sewer and water-main systems.

        The levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 Glendale house about $74 a year, generating about $160,000 annually for the village.

        Initially, the levy was proposed as a 10-year initiative. However, it was scaled back to a five-year plan because state law does not allow such a lengthy tax increase.

        In Greenhills, Village Administrator Dave Moore said residents will vote Nov. 2 on whether they want to renew a 1.5-mill levy dedicated to street repair and upkeep.

        Proposed in 1979, the levy generates about $34,000 annually for the village, Mr. Moore said. It would last five years.

        Its cost for the owner of a $100,000 home is about $20 a year.


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