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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Referendum deadline looms

The time is getting close for supporters to turn in signatures for a potential referendum that would allow voters to decide whether to let Ohio Senate Bill 5 remain as a law.

The new collective bargaining law, signed by Gov. John Kasich in March, bans public employee strikes and restricts collective bargaining rights for more than 350,000 teachers, police officers, state employees and others.

The coalition We Are Ohio has announced all petition signatures will be delivered to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted on Wednesday.

State law requires the petitions be delivered on or before Thursday. More than 231,000 valid signatures need to be collected.

Last week, We Are Ohio announced 714,137 total signatures had been collected during a two-month drive and the coalition will continue to collect them until a final signature total is released on Wednesday at a noon news conference to be held in conjunction with the celebration parade in Columbus after the delivery of the petitions.

Meanwhile, The Columbus Dispatch reported last week that Husted’s office issued a statement that the Ohio Ballot Board could not split a referendum into multiple issues, which could throw a wrench into Kasich and his allies’ plans to defend Senate Bill 5.

The Kasich administration and others who support Senate Bill 5 are talking to the ballot board about breaking up the measure into multiple questions when it lands on the ballot via referendum this fall, according to The Dispatch.

Every vote counts

A vote last week on Senate Joint Resolution 1 in the Ohio House of Representatives fell one vote short of passing to put an issue on the statewide ballot to prohibit any law from forcing Ohio residents to participate in a health care system.

The resolution needed 60 votes to pass, but the House voted 59-39 on the measure sponsored by state Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chester Township. Will any groups be able to collect enough signatures to place an issue on the ballot?

Painesville Township trustee vacancy

Trustees Jim Falvey and Jeanette Crislip have indicated they are looking to appoint someone to fill the vacancy left by the late Angelo Cicconetti, who died June 11.

The trustees want to appoint someone who has no intention to run for the office in November, so the appointment would be good for the remainder of the year with a new trustee elected Nov. 8. So far, Gabe Cicconetti and Chuck Hillier are the only two candidates running for election in the fall.

So who might be under consideration for the appointment? Perhaps someone who sits on the township’s Board of Zoning Appeals like William Buckman, Thomas Hill, Kenneth Sullivan, David Enzerra or Raymond Profeta? Or the township’s Zoning Commission such as Norman Eagler, Kennedy Fitzsimmons, John Haught or Darrell Webster?

To make the appointment, trustees have until 30 days after the vacancy. The next regularly scheduled trustees meeting is July 5, that is, unless a special meeting is called.

Russell Township trustee

* Marty Winston has filed candidacy petitions with the Geauga County Elections Board to run for Russell Township trustee. In his announcement, Winston said one of his campaign’s goals is to demonstrate that getting information to the township’s residents is something that can be accomplished by someone who tries.

* Justin Madden has announced that he is a candidate for Russell Township trustee. Madden cites that he is a Russell Zoning Commission member and a former member of the Board of Zoning Appeals. He also is chairman of the Geauga County Health District’s Sewage Appeals Board.


* Fundraiser for Madison Township Trustee Pete Wayman: 5 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Madison Township. Special guest, U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette. See Tim Gorka.

* Kirtland Councilman Doug Davidson, who is running for mayor, will host a community hot dog roast from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday from at the Kirtland Kiwanis Pavilion at the City Recreation Park. See Jim Yarborough or Gina Davidson.

* Geauga County Democratic Party annual golf outing is July 10 at Pleasant Hill Golf Course in Chardon. Shotgun starts at noon, dinner at 6 p.m. See Dave Netzband.

* Eastlake Mayor Ted Andrzejewski, annual golf outing: 8:30 a.m. shotgun start July 15 at Pine Ridge Golf Course in Wickliffe. See Ted or Jason Andrzejewski.

* Desirea Thompson, a candidate for Mentor-on-the-Lake Council, hosts a spaghetti dinner 5 to 9 p.m. July 16 at the Stadium Grill in Mentor. See John Thompson.

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