Drilling Down

Charter Amendment to Face Familiar Foes

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Mahoning County Coalition for Job Growth and Investment will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday to kick off efforts to defeat the sixth attempt to ban shale gas development within the city.

The Youngstown Community Bill of Rights Committee announced in late June it had gathered enough signatures to place the charter amendment on the general election ballot this November.

Voters have rejected the measure five previous elections, the last time in November 2015. The measure was defeated 51.4% to 48.5%.

Speakers at tomorrow morning’s news conference, at the Teamsters Local 377, will include:

  • Mayor John A. McNally
  • Tom Humphries, president and CEO, Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber
  • Rev. Kenneth Simon, pastor, New Bethel Baptist Church
  • Rocky DiGennaro, president, Western Reserve Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Bill Padisak, president, Mahoning Trumbull AFL-CIO Labor Council
  • Ron Massullo, executive vice-chairman, Mahoning County Democratic Party

Passage “will drive away local jobs and opportunity, put a ‘closed for business’” sign on the city and Valley, and could subject the city to costly lawsuits that taxpayers would have to fund,” the charter amendment’s opponents contend.

“Coalition members believe those pushing this charter amendment are abusing Youngstown’s ballot system and disrespecting Youngstown voters and taxpayers. Youngstown voters have defeated this charter amendment at the ballot five times, sending an undeniable message that they do not want this job-killing measure,” the coalition said announcing Tuesday’s event.

Continuing to place the charter amendment on the ballot “in clear defiance of that message” has cost city “tens of thousands of dollars in election administration costs,” the release added.

Members of the “ever-expanding coalition” include Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel, all three Mahoning County commissioners, the majority of City Council, the chairmen of the Mahoning County Democratic and Republican parties, and various businesses, labor organizations and religious institutions.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.