• Portage Community Rights

We're Working Together

The Ohio Community Rights Network (OHCRN) is working together. This fall, the OHCRN Board met in Columbus for our annual board meeting. The Board is working to educate residents of counties in Ohio outside the Ohio shale play, where other obstacles exist to exercising democracy locally (besides shale horizontal drilling and "frack" waste injection). Meanwhile, Medina, Athens and Portage are consulting with our lawyers about how to get the kind of county government we want.

Our local Boards of Election and the Secretary of State have found various "problems" with the charters we have proposed. Chief among them is the insistence that wanting a charter, with more local control at the county level, must include restructuring the government to include an executive. The Ohio Constitution contains no such requirement. Our (PCRG) view is that all governments obtain their authority from the people, and therefore, a charter should include the structure of government the people want. The existing government should not have the right to dictate the details of the government that is placed legitimately before the people for a vote.

The Ohio Supreme Court's majority decision was that our charters were legally "insufficient" because they lacked some details of the powers and duties. In each county, we're working to craft our county charter that retains the elements of government that we want while 'legalizing' our right to exercise democratic choice to protect our health, safety and welfare where we live.

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