Letter: Delaware voters deserve a say


A recent effort to get an initiative on the November ballot has been turned down by Delaware City Council. Why? The City Council refused to accept a petition from Delaware city residents that would let the voters, not City Council, decide on a project adding 1,168 dwelling units to the east side of Delaware. The construction would be spread across three subareas on 231-acres located on the northwest corner of SR 521 and Byxbe Parkway roundabout. Residents of the city have every right to file a petition to let voters have a say on highly important actions.

Per section 731.29 of the Ohio Revised Code, a petition for referendum signed by 10% of the number of electors in the city who voted in the most recent election for governor is required. The petition had to be filed with the city within 30 days after the city ordinance measure was filed and passed by the mayor or city council. The petitioners met both requirements. The city attorney and city council clerk, who work on behalf of City Council, declined to even look at the petition and refused to accept it as a submission.

The petitioners were told that the petition did not meet the requirements for a petition for referendum in accordance with the City Charter. When pressed as to which part of the City Charter the petition did not meet, the city declined to specify. That same day the petition was presented to the Delaware County Board of Elections to have a “certified acknowledgement” that the petition was submitted. Now the lawyers will get involved.

The question is, if the requirements have been met why would the mayor and City Council not want the residents to vote on this ballot issue in November? This is a big, expensive and life-altering project for the residents on the east side of Delaware.

All city of Delaware voters have a vested interest in this monstrosity of a project. Eleven hundred, sixty-eight new dwellings bring in 2,336 more vehicles, two per dwelling minimum. How many more schools will the taxpayers be asked to pay for as this project would flood Conger and Buckeye Valley schools with new students? How long before the residents are forced to pay for a new water and sewer plant? Has anyone seen the dwelling construction on Troy Road, Stratford and Route 36 on the west side of Delaware? Remember, the city mismanaged the Seattle House construction project, where they had to fork over half a million dollars for mismanagement and over charging.

Enough is enough, let the voters have a say. The mayor and City Council forget they work for the voters, the voters do not work for them. Perhaps it’s time to let them know who they work for, and it’s not the construction companies.

Chris Acker


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