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Article published January 28, 2013
Center referendum decision has hearing Wednesday
CENTER TWP — It will fall on Butler County Judge Michael S. Yeager to decide whether the result of a referendum approved by township voters in November is represented on the May 21 primary ballot. A preliminary injunction hearing will be Wednesday to determine whether the referendum, which reduced the number of township supervisors from five to three, violates the state constitution. Yeager’s ruling also will determine whether the primary ballot will have two open seats on a five-member township board of supervisors or will give voters the chance to select candidates for a new, three-member board from scratch. Supervisor Chairman Ron Flatt and supervisors Ed Latuska and Ken Frenchak voted to challenge the constitutionality of the referendum and are named as plaintiffs on the injunction filed Dec. 21. Vice Chairman Andrew Erie and Supervisor Philip Wulff voted against going to court and are not named as plaintiffs. The three supervisors say that under the state constitution, only the governor can remove elected officials for “reasonable cause” with approval by the state Senate. But township voters in November decided to cut the supervisors’ number from five to three. It is up to Judge Yeager to decide which side is right.