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Article published November 10, 2012
Letters cost taxpayers
Beverly SchenckCenter Township
The Center Township supervisors did everything possible to prevent township voters from having the opportunity to vote on the referendum question “Should Center Township return to a three-member board of supervisors?” In an attempt to keep the referendum off the ballot, supervisors Chairman Ronald Flatt authorized the township solicitor to write a letter to Butler County solicitor Julie Graham questioning the constitutionality of the referendum. The county declined to keep it off the ballot since the referendum was permitted by the state’s Second-Class Township Code. Flatt also authorized the solicitor to send a letter to the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission questioning the constitutionality of the referendum. The commission declined to intervene. The cost to the taxpayers was $900. Both letters were paid for by township taxpayers. When those tactics failed, the supervisors attempted to influence the voters by vilifying and demonizing me. Apparently their efforts failed; township voters, by a 2,201-1,701 vote, approved the referendum. Supervisor Ed Latuska stated in the Butler Eagle that the supervisors would challenge the legality of the change in court. Translation: The supervisors would use township tax dollars to try to overturn the voters’ referendum approval. In the Butler Eagle, Flatt stated he was surprised township voters would choose to support me, someone “who has cost them so much financially.” The voters were not voting for me; I was not on the ballot. Apparently, the supervisors do not believe township voters are capable of determining the form of government they desire.