During the course of the last four months, you may have been approached by a member of the Portage Community Rights Group and asked to sign a petition that would have placed a charter amendment on the November ballot.
You may have spoken with us at the Kent Farmers' Market, Aurora Farmers' Market, Sunny Lake Park or on election day at the polls in March. Our group is pleased to announce that our grassroots effort resulted in collecting 205 more valid signatures than the 4,078 that were required.
Unfortunately, on Aug. 1, the Portage County Board of Elections voted against putting the charter on the ballot, stating that it was "invalid," because the government described in the charter fails to provide for an executive.
Our intent is not to change the way our county government works, but to take back control of what happens in our cities, townships and the county as a whole.
Because of this vote, we have filed a protest (Aug. 10 Aurora Advocate) against the BOE's decision, and that protest has been forwarded to Secretary of State Jon Husted.
As members of the PCRG, we believe that "all political power is inherent in the people." We will continue the fight to have the charter placed on the November ballot, which will allow "we the people" to protect our health, safety and the environment from corporations and to regain local control of what happens in our communities and our county.
Athens, Medina and Meigs counties in Ohio, along with other states across the U.S., are asserting their local rights as well.
If you signed our petition and support our efforts, the members of the PCRG thank you.