PRESS RELEASE Over 1,500 citizens of Charles Town are, again, demanding that the Charles Town City Council and Building Commission hold a hearing to accept a Protest Petition opposing the issuance of the Sewer Bond. The Bond was accepted by the City Council on March 18, and on March 19 by the Building Commission.
The citizens are challenging that acceptance, and assert that the Council and Commission should have accepted its first petition, which would have then triggered a 4/5 majority of the Council to pass. Since the Council vote was 5-3, had the Council followed the statute, it would have defeated the Bond. When it did not accept the first petition, the citizens started the Blue Petition to challenge the Bond issuance under state law. Tonight, the City Council is being asked to set a hearing to accept the Blue Petition, which has over 1500 signatures.
This includes almost 1,000 properties, and over 1200 property owners. Some neighborhoods – including Norborne Glebe and Spruce Hill North – had over 60% households signing the petition, even more neighborhoods topped over 50% signatures. Dr. Christine Wimer, Blue Petition Project Manager, stated, “I am honored and privileged to be able to bring the message of the people of Charles Town to the City Council. The people of this community do not want this super-sewer and the heavy industry it will make possible here.” The law regarding Protest Petitions requires 30% of the freeholders to trigger a super majority vote for approval of the Bond.
The Bond has not yet been issued and requires substantial additional information and the approval of the Building Commission and the certified signatures of the Mayor before it can be issued on the Bond market. “We will not stop. We will not allow this Bond to be issued in our name to fund a project that the citizens oppose, which will bring polluting industrial development that is not needed or wanted here,” said Wimer.