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Published: Wednesday, 4/16/2014 - Updated: 3 months ago

TARTA PROPOSAL

Rossford voters get bus question in fall

BLADE STAFF

Rossford voters will go to the polls in November to decide whether their city should remain a member of the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority.

Debbie Hazard, Wood County elections director, said it was “way too late” to get the proposal on the May 6 primary ballot.

The Wood County prosecutor’s office advised the Board of Elections that the issue should appear on the May 6 or Nov. 4 ballot.

A local group, Citizens for Choice, last year collected enough signatures for residents to vote on whether Rossford should remain in TARTA.

But the prosecutor’s office said the petitions had missed the Aug. 7 deadline for the initiative to appear on the ballot last November.

The city held them for 10 days for public inspection, as required by law, then forwarded them to the elections board on Aug. 6 for certification.

The elections board found the number of valid signatures to be more than sufficient, and returned the petitions to the city to be examined before they were returned to the board.

The board, however, did not return the petitions to the city until Aug. 12, and Rossford delivered them back to the board the next day, with instructions that the issue be put on the ballot of the next available general election.

The prosecutor’s office then had to determine if the issue could go on the ballot this year, given that the initiative was successful.

The special state law permitting communities to opt out of TARTA without the unanimous consent of the transit agency’s other members expired Nov. 5.

But the petition circulators said they had met the requirement of the law by submitting the collected signatures on time.



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