Home Rule group presents petitions to Meigs BOE

Cody Hysell and Greg Howard, respectively, give 44 petitions with 885 signatures to Meigs County Board of Elections Director Becky Johnston.

Cody Hysell, Dennis Sargent and Greg Howard at the Board of Elections Office displaying the number of signatures their charter received.

POMEROY — The Meigs County Home Rule Committee, a ballot issue committee, on Wednesday met at the Meigs County Board of Elections office to turn in 44 petitions with a total of 885 signatures.

The committee members present were Dennis Sargent, Marsha Nagy, Greg Howard and petition circulator Cody Hysell. The group is hoping to place their county charter initiative on the ballot this November. Meigs County Board of Elections Director Becky Johnston said the Board of Elections must now verify all of the 885 signatures and certify all 44 petitions, and will have more official information regarding the charter initiative later next week.

The Meigs County Commissioners said they are still waiting for legal counsel regarding the charter, and have no further comment on the charter at the moment. The first line of the charter reads “We, the people of the County of Meigs, by this Charter secure the right of all County residents to participate in local government, which right is presently unavailable to residents under the statutory form of County government.” Committee members dropped off a copy of the charter at the Commissioners’ office April 30.

According to committee members, only 567 signatures were needed, or 10 percent of the number who voted in the last gubernatorial election, the committee had a valid number of signatures.

“This additional margin indicates that the residents of Meigs County are very concerned about their water and their well-being,” the committee members stated in a release.

According to the group, if this charter is enacted it wouldn’t alter any current county orders and regulations, or “laws relating to or affecting the county or its officers, agencies departments, or employees.” The charter itself contains a Bill of Rights that include the rights of initiative and referendum on the county level, “which will untie the hands of county officials by securing for the county the same level of authority as a municipality.

“To protect our water, we believe the vast majority of Meigs County voters will again speak, and vote for the charter form of county government this November,” the group stated.

For meeting times and/or additional information, visit the group’s website at meigscountyhrc.org.

Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.