LETTER: It's against the law

One wonders if Register editor Matt Westerhold spoke with any attorneys bef
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010


One wonders if Register editor Matt Westerhold spoke with any attorneys before recommending that the Sandusky City Commission "vacate their earlier vote and re-vote the Marina District as emergency legislation." (Nov. 23) Had he done so, he would have learned that the gambit he suggested would be a violation of the law.

In their wisdom, the people who wrote the city charter included language that expressly limits emergency legislation to "the immediate preservation of the public peace, property, health, or safety, or providing for the usual daily operation of a municipal department ... " and that "no measure making a grant, renewal or extension of a franchise or other special privilege ... shall ever be so passed."

Clearly, the proposed Marina District fails to meet both of these standards. It's not "immediate" and it grants a "franchise/special privilege." Thus, Mr. Westerhold is advocating a course of action that would be against the law, and which would not (and will not) survive even a minimal legal challenge.

Then there is the matter of democracy. In a matter of days, a full 20 percent of the city's electorate (based on the 2007 general election) eagerly signed their names to a lawful petition requiring a binding vote on the Marina District project. Beyond illegal, it would be shameful for the city commissioners to ignore such an outpouring of public support for a democratic solution.

Almost none of the many hundreds of people who signed the referendum petition are opposed to development in Sandusky, and neither are the Citizens for Responsive government. We just don't want it in our waterfront parks.

Arnold J. Oliver, treasurer

Citizens for Responsive Government