Has the wasteful spending of valley tax payer dollars stopped and sanity finally come to the City of Youngstown on this issue? The answer is yes.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the seventh attempt to ban oil and gas extraction from within limits does not belong on the ballot. In a 4-3 decision, the Court ruled that all or part of the charter amendment falls outside the scope of the authority of the City of Youngstown therefor the amendment to the city charter should not be placed on the ballot.
It is like Christmas in October for the city leaders who have been forced to tighten city budgets on the various needs of the city due to the over $187,000 spent, according to Energy in Depth, on official notices and Election Day expenses over the last six election cycles.
According to charter amendment backer, Susie Beiersdorfer who made the following comments in the Youngstown Vindicator:
“the decision doesn’t really surprise me. The ‘corporate state’ is alive and well, and it doesn’t work for the people.”
The “corporate state” as Mrs. Beiersdorfer puts it, did not draft the so called “Community Bill of Rights” and in fact had nothing to do with the entire effort or the fact that court disagreed with the proposal. The “corporate state” was and is too busy putting the hard working people of Youngstown and the greater Mahoning Valley to work assembling cars, rolling steel and building power plants. Out of state lawyers for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) wrote the documents, Beiersdorfer helped spearhead the campaign. Businesses big or small are not to blame for this end results.
After seven attempts and garnering less wins then the Cleveland Browns, it might be time to stop and take note. That is seven spent summers collecting signatures and seven falls campaigning the message, some would say agenda, yet it continues to not resonating with local voters, chambers of commerce, labor unions, their own Mahoning County Board of Elections and the Ohio Supreme Court. Oil and gas is not the enemy in Youngstown, as voters have proved time and time again. Ray and Susie both have positions of influence at Youngstown State University where they are in front countless students who are the next generation of leaders for the Mahoning Valley. They should challenge them to rebuild their community, engage them to be the agents of change for the betterment of the entire region, driving it forward instead of just spinning their wheels.
While CELDF continues to rack up big money in their political accounts and losses in Ohio (5-28 by our count) many county boards of elections, court of common pleas, court of appeals, the Ohio Secretary of State, the Ohio General Assembly and the Ohio Supreme Court have all said the efforts do not comply with state law. The message to the CELDF and the dwindling amount of followers, stop trying to spread misinformation, stop trying to sell the so called “Community Bill of Rights,” stop wasting precious tax payers dollars because no one is listening anymore.