Saturday, August 04, 2001

Cities battle annexation law

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — One hundred municipalities in 50 Ohio counties are banding together to overturn the state's new annexation law.

        The coalition filed a petition with the Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell on Wednesday asking for a statewide vote on the issue in November 2002.

        “A lot of cities and villages believe this is a bad bill and will hurt the economic viability of the state,” said Joyce Bushman, city manager in suburban Pickerington and treasurer of the referendum coalition.

        Signed by Gov. Bob Taft a week ago, the law generally will give counties and townships more say in annexation decisions by cities and villages. It takes effect Oct. 26.

        “There are some real concerns about how this new law will work,” said Westerville Mayor Stewart Flaherty. “A successful referendum drive will let the voters decide.”

        Signatures of 201,000 registered voters are needed to put the issue on the ballot, said Don McTigue, the group's attorney.


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