Wednesday, June 28, 2000

West Chester: A name by any other wouldn't be so sweet

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WEST CHESTER — This Butler County township went to sleep Tuesday evening as Union Township but woke up today as West Chester.

        At midnight Union Township officially became West Chester Township.

        The new name, approved by voters in March, was adopted to give the booming township its own identity and eliminate confusion with Ohio's 27 other Union Townships.

        More than 60 residents, local and state officials celebrated the community's new name with a reception in the township's administration building Tuesday evening before a trustee meeting.

        West Chester Trustee President Jose Alvarez praised residents who worked for years to garner signatures for a petition that eventually put the new name to a vote.

        Mr. Alvarez described the 86 percent voter approval, which was the highest passing percentage in Butler County election history, as “amazing.”

        “People really latched on to this idea,” he said of the new West Chester name, which has been used informally in the southeastern Butler County community for years.

        The township, which carried the Union Township name since the 1920s, is the first in Ohio to change its name under a new state law that vastly simplified the process required for voter approval of name changes.

        Township officials said they often received mail, bills, deliveries, emergency calls and lawsuits intended for other Union townships in Southwest Ohio — which has Union Townships in both Warren and Clermont counties.

        Under state law, township officials had to wait 90 days after the March election re sults were certified before they could officially adopt the new name.

        The name change does not alter mailing addresses or the governmental structure of the township, which is a limited home rule township.

        The new name will eventually cost about $25,000 from the township's annual budget of about $30 million, said township officials.


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