Drilling Down

Coalition Opposes Community Bill of Rights

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – For the fifth time, a coalition composed of business, labor and elected officials has organized opposition to a proposed Community Bill of Rights charter amendment on the November ballot.

In a statement for release this morning, The Mahoning Valley Coalition for Job Growth and Investment said it will encourage voters to defeat the measure, which the group says would drive jobs and new investment from the region.

Activists opposed to hydraulic fracturing, a process used to produce oil and gas, secured enough signatures to place the Bill of Rights on the ballot a fifth time. The proposal would prohibit “fracking” and other oil and gas-related operations – including the drilling and operation of injection wells — within city limits.

However, the coalition says that should it or any related measure pass, it would have no effect on oil and gas activity in the city because the state of Ohio is the sole authority to regulate the industry.

A press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. in City Hall. Expected to speak are Mayor John McNally; Butch Taylor, business agent for Local 396 of Plumbers and Pipefitters union; Jaladah Aslam, vice chairwoman, Community Mobilization Coalition; and Guy Coviello, vice president of government affairs and media at the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber.

The city electorate has soundly defeated the amendment four times. During the May primary, the proposal lost by a margin of 15.7%.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.