In less than 10 days, volunteers went door-to-door in 90-degree temperatures to collect signatures and learned that many Lucas County voters are ready for reform in county government.
"Volunteers collected thousands of signatures from voters who clearly see that the Democrat stranglehold on our county's government has to end," said Jon Stainbrook, chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party, who directed the volunteers.
Yesterday was the deadline for the signature drive to get the county reorganization plan on the November ballot.
Although it fell short of a minimum 14,289 signatures, Mr. Stainbrook called the effort a success.
"I am very proud of our efforts. It's been a great experience," he said. "Anytime you meet voters, it's a victory. This overwhelmingly positive support of the charter petition proves the voters want a change in our county's government.
"There's been a lot of articles informing voters on charter reform, but without face-to-face, door-to-door, grass-roots voter contact, no one knew if the voters truly wanted it."
The reorganization plan called for replacing the system of three commissioners and eight row offices with a county executive, an 11-district county council, and a prosecutor, all elected. It was nearly identical to a plan taking place in Cuyahoga County, as well as one that Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop, a Democrat, recently had promoted for Lucas County.
Mr. Stainbrook said the reorganization would increase efficiency and bring greater GOP representation in government because the 11-person council would open up more seats for Republicans.
No elected Republicans are in county government.
"My number one job as chairman is to get Republicans elected and this will help do it," Mr. Stainbrook said. "As long as the voters continue to want this reform, we will work for it."