Decision on sending Waterville amphitheater proposal to voters delayed

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 1:48 PM EST
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WATERVILLE, Ohio (WTVG) - With one Board of Elections member having a family emergency and lots of new information getting to the board on Tuesday, more time was requested before any decisions are made regarding the proposed Waterville Amphitheater.

April is the earliest that we might know if the Waterville Amphitheater approval will come down to voters. What was at issue on Tuesday was the City Council’s decision to approve it either administrative or legislative.

Approving something administrative means approving something with laws already on the books, which can not go to voters. Approving something legislative means approving new laws which does go to voters.

“We look forward to the conclusion of it, said Wayne Wagner who circulated the ballot petitions. “Hopefully the board does the right thing and lets the people vote on it.”

The petitions that Wagner circulates received close to 1,000 signatures, however, the issue doesn’t get to the ballot until the Lucas County Board of Elections signs off on it.

The Board heard brief arguments on Tuesday and more are expected before the potential April vote.

“To take a look at your codes, zoning, otherwise and enforce that which is on the books pursuant to the regulations is administrative actions,” said Phil Dombey, Waterville Law Director.

Dombey says the approval was administrative, so it can’t go before voters. However, the petitioners’ lawyer, Rich Carr, says the bigger issue is that what passed at a November special meeting didn’t legally pass.

“Under their charter, it requires five votes to pass it. They only received four, it never passed,” said Carr. “This should not even be here today because that ordinance, in fact, failed.”

Carr says he expects this first to be challenged in Common Pleas Court to see if the special meeting issue will get the ordinance totally thrown out all together.

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