Home Rule group: County denies residents’ right to protect water

Dear Editor,

The Meigs County Commissioners’ taking “no action” (July 14) was to arbitrarily deny county residents the right to protect their water through a lawful charter petition.

The Board of Elections met the legal requirement of the Ohio Revised Code (307.94) when their director and deputy examined the petition form and signatures, certifying as valid the petition form with sufficient signatures with a “report” accompanied by a cover letter to the commissioners on July 2, well before the July 6 deadline.

The law required the commissioners to accept the “certifying” work of the BOE. Though they deny it, the commissioners actually accepted the BOE July 2, letter and report, written and signed by the director and deputy, as being from the BOE.

Their July 9 letter was to “Meigs County Board of Elections,” and states, “We are in receipt of your letter dated July 2, 2015.” And, “Your letter advises that ‘the required number of signatures was found to be sufficient as evidenced by the attached report.’”

In that same letter to BOE (July 9), the commissioners specified supposed deficiencies in the July 2 BOE report, a “certificate” and stipulations not required by law. They then agreed “… to hold a special meeting …” the purpose of which was “… to allow time before the deadline of Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at 4 p.m. for the Board of Elections to provide (as stated in ORC 307.94).” Nonetheless, the four members of BOE, along with their director and deputy, complied and on July 13 provided the commissioners with exactly what they wanted, and all in time for the commissioners to still comply with the July 15 deadline, being 111 days prior to the election this November (307.94).

The court filing and exhibits correspond with what I have here presented. It’s about safe water, not politics.

Dennis Sargent

Meigs County Home Rule Committee member