Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Step taken to expand board

Petitions endorse 2 more Deerfield trustees

By Cindi Andrews, candrews@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Some Deerfield Township residents' drive to expand the Board of Trustees moved forward Monday as their petitions were delivered to the Warren County Board of Elections under police escort.

        In nearby Maineville, on the other hand, an effort to dissolve the village has ended because of problems with those petitions.

        The Deerfield initiative is believed to be the first to take advantage of a new Ohio law that allows large urban townships to have five trustees instead of three.

        “Most city councils are seven or nine people, and we're as large as a city,” organizer Marcia Sullivan said. “Why not have five people?”

        The Board of Elections must validate 680 of the more than 1,000 signatures collected for the measure to go to voters Nov. 5 Officials should be able to process the Deerfield petitions by Thursday's filing deadline, a board spokeswoman said Monday.

        Fire Chief Bill Kramer and a police escort accompanied Clerk Kristin Spiekerman to the Board of Elections “just to secure the petitions,” Ms. Spiekerman said.

        Petitioners also plan to present their case for the initiative to the Deerfield trustees tonight, Ms. Sullivan said. The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. at 3292 Montgomery Road.

        Meanwhile, petitions seeking to dissolve Maineville will not go to the Board of Elections, village solicitor Kevin McDonough said Monday, because organizers of that effort did not follow proper procedure. Resident Hap Graham and others collected 140 signatures in the village of 1,000, but the signatures were not dated, as is required, Mr. McDonough said.

        Organizers also failed to file a blank petition before collecting signatures, he said.

        The Maineville petitioners — many of whom are angry about the Village Council's recent imposition of a 1 percent income tax — have not decided whether to try again, Mrs. Graham said.

        “There are quite a few of us who are not happy with the way things are going, so we're still meeting,” she said. “There's just a lot of people who don't see a need for a village council.”


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