“Legal Defense Fund Prevails Over Warren County Board of Elections”

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Pennsylvania Community Rights Network
P.O. Box 360 Mercersburg, PA  17236


“Legal Defense Fund Prevails Over Warren County Board of Elections”


September 12, 2011
CONTACT: Ben Price, (717) 254-3233


(Monday, September 12, 2011)  By a unanimous vote, the Warren County Board of Elections today reversed their decision to prevent a petitioned Home Rule Charter Amendment from appearing on the November ballot. The citizens’ group West Side Alliance of Warren City circulated petitions to local citizens in accordance with the Pennsylvania Home Rule Statute to place an amendment to the City Charter on the November 8th ballot, but at their September 6th meeting the County Board of Elections voted not to place the question before city voters.  The proposed amendment would establish a local Bill of Rights and prohibit the extraction of natural gas or the transport, storage or disposal of drilling waste water within Warren City, among other provisions.

On September 8th,the Community Environmental Legal Defense filed a law suit Fund on behalf of  West Side Alliance against the Board of Elections and it members, charging that their action was illegal and beyond their authority, since the Board has only ministerial authority to judge the validity of the petitions and the process, not its content or effect. The following day, the Board advertised a public meeting, held this morning, to reconsider their decision, resulting in a reversal.

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, headquartered in Chambersburg, has been working with people in Pennsylvania since 1995 to assert their fundamental rights to democratic local self-governance, and to enact laws which end destructive and rights-denying corporate action aided and abetted by state and federal governments.

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