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Jefferson Twp. residents upset by court ruling

Jefferson Township residents who believe the township needs stricter zoning for wind turbines are incensed today over the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision to remove a voter referendum from the March 4 ballot.

“We filed this petition on time and government officials mishandled our documents,” resident Tom Mazurek said. “Why should we be penalized? All we are trying to do is get a very weak zoning amendment passed by township trustees before the voters. I find this very communistic.”

The high court sided with property owners who challenged the referendum. They specifically ruled that Trustee Tim Tillman should have formally submitted the petitions to Township Fiscal Officer Brenda Mathys upon receipt of the documents and the trustees should have taken a formal vote to certify the petitions.

Instead, Dr. Tillman kept the petitions at his home in October and submitted them directly to the Logan County Board of Elections. The trustees only mentioned the petitions in passing at their October meeting, which took place after the deadline to submit the petitions to the elections board had passed.

The election board on Jan. 4 sided with the residents who filed the petition and the landowners appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, most of the property owners who won the decision have been in Columbus today testifying before the House of Representatives on a proposed bill that would offer incentives to developers of wind and other alternative energy sources.

The Bellefontaine Examiner

5 February 2008