Friday, December 03, 1999

Tavern owner sues county to prove her vote

She wants property deannexed from city

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HIGHLAND HEIGHTS — Billie Sandhas has no doubt she voted Nov. 2 to remove her Skyline Tavern property from this city, and now she's filed suit to prove it.

        Ms. Sandhas, who owns the tavern on Johns Hill Road behind Northern Kentucky University, filed the suit to force Campbell County and the county clerk to validate her vote, which would then move her property outside city limits.

        The 74-year-old grandmother and longtime Highland Heights resident, whose father started the tavern business 60 years ago, sought to deannex from the city because Highland Heights could not extend sewer lines to the tavern.

        Because only her property was involved, Ms. Sandhas was the only person who could vote on the deannexation issue. But when vote tallies were finalized the night of Nov. 2, County Clerk Jack Snodgrass said no vote had been cast for or against the issue.

        The voting maching was subsequently inspected and found to be in working order. So Ms. Sandhas had her attorney, Robert Blau, proceed with legal action.

        “I was told that a woman who worked at the polling place said I signed the (voter identification) book and voted,” she said. “It's a shame, because this is going to cost me $500 or more to get things straightened out.”

        Campbell County Attorney Justin Verst, who apprised Fiscal Court members Wednesday night of the situation, said he hoped the problem could be rectified quickly.

        “We'll check the records, and we'll talk to the poll workers,” he said. “Hopefully we'll be able to have (Ms. Sandhas) sign off that she did cast the vote and resolve this to everyone's satisfaction.”

        “I didn't see any other way to go,” Ms. Sandhas said of her desire to deannex from Highland Heights. “I paid taxes for 5-6 years without ever getting the sewer line. I don't think I should continue to pay the taxes. But I didn't expect it to go this far.”


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- Tavern owner sues county to prove her vote