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Sharon trustees present limited home rule report

10/18/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Audrey French

The Sharon Board of Trustees presented a survey report from the Medina County Prosecutor’s Office at the Oct. 9 meeting that featured data on 14 limited home rule townships in Ohio.

The report was a response to a petition from the Concerned Citizens of Medina County who believe limited home rule will give the township more authority and control over oil and gas fracking, said the trustees. The report outlines the 14 townships’ reasons for instituting limited home rule as well as their annual administration, legal and police fees.

According to the Medina County Prosecutor’s Office’s cover letter to the report, “none of the administrators [they] spoke with felt that their home rule authority would give them any ability to adopt legislation contrary to state-wide legislation, specifically on the subject to oil and gas.”

Furthermore, the cover letter stated various administrators interviewed felt the additional authority gained from limited home rule did not justify the expense.

According to Trustee Ray Lurtz, Sharon currently uses the services of the Medina County prosecutor, which they would have to start paying for should they adopt limited home rule.

“If [limited home rule] should happen in Sharon Township, we will have one of two things to make a decision on: How many more taxes are we going to have to charge you or at what point will the township go bankrupt by the services we will be required to provide?” said Lurtz.

The trustees urged Sharon residents to be aware citizens and do research before signing any petition, which only needs a percentage of the voting population from the last gubernatorial election in order to be placed on a ballot.

In other business:

• After consulting with the Medina County Prosecutor’s Office regarding the Stauffer’s property, the trustees determined they can only help with the sale of the property by resurfacing the parking lot. Any water issues remain the responsibility of the current property owners who will need to conduct a topographical study and then contact the state for assistance.

“The township’s position is that we are going to do everything within our power and legal right to help them facilitate the sale, but we are not going to go beyond that,” said Lurtz.

• According to Trustee Kimberly Bolas Miller, many voters were upset recently when their polling location changed from the Road Maintenance Building to Northside Christian Church. At this time, polling locations will remain the same as they are listed on the voter notification cards. In the future, however, the director and deputy director of the Medina County Board of Elections indicated they would be open to allowing the polling locations to be at the Town Hall and the Road Maintenance Building instead.

• Due to the high number of car crashes on state Route 18, the Ohio Department of Transportation is going to be conducting friction testing over the next month between Windfall and Medina Line roads. In the last four-and-a-half years, there have been 240 crashes, six fatalities and 73 injuries sustained in that area, according to Trustee Brian Guccion and Fire Chief Robert Haas.

• Residents can opt into the Medina County Mass Notification System via a link posted on the Fire Department’s website at www.sharonfire.org. The service is available for home and cell phones, as well as email, said Haas.

• The trustees requested the large campaign signs around Sharon be removed due to the township zoning resolution that requires political signs be no larger than 4 square feet in area.

Also during the meeting, the following announcements were made:

√ The Heritage Society is still receiving nominations for its Community Service Award that can be sent to P.O. Box 154, Sharon Center, OH 44274.

√ A blood drive will be held Oct. 26 from 1 to 7 p.m. at Sharon Town Hall.

√ The Koontz Road culvert project will be completed by Oct. 31, said Service Director Bob Turek.

√ According to Zoning Inspector Neil Jones, the Heritage Society will host a Halloween Trick-or-Treat in front of the Administration Building on Sharon Circle Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m.

√ If anyone is interested in joining the Sharon Zoning Board of Appeals or Zoning Commission, he or she should send a letter of interest and résumé to P.O. Box 7, Sharon Center, OH 44274 by Nov. 30.

Trustees next will meet Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Administration Building on Sharon Circle.

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