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Adams Twp. referendum headed for Nov. 4 ballot

August 25, 2014 News Extra

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The decision on whether to reduce the Adams Township board of supervisors from five to three members appears to be up to the voters — for now.

County solicitor Mike English told the county commissioners Monday that the petition seeking a voter referendum cannot be withdrawn by an individual.

“There’s no law that said it could be done,” English said.

Township resident Charles Clark submitted the petition with 491 signatures supporting the referendum to the county.

To be eligible for referendum consideration, a petition must have at least 5 percent of that municipality’s voters. In Adams, where there are 8,854 voters, that number is 442.

Clark later expressed concern about a possible legal challenge by the township as happened in Center Township. A county judge in 2013 overturned a similar referendum in Center due to supervisors’ terms being cut short upon its implementation.

Clark, who arrived at the meeting Monday after the public comment portion, said in an interview he was braced for a fight with the township.

“We know it’s going to be challenged,” he said.

Adams solicitor Mike Gallagher confirmed the township will move to keep it off the ballot.

“I will be ready to file it in court if they proceed,” Gallagher said.

The county won’t enter the fray. County Commissioner Bill McCarrier, board chairman, said the county would not join a legal battle to keep a referendum on or off the ballot.

“It’s not our job to defend it,” he said.

Clark previously blamed the supervisors’ treatment of a parent group opposing natural gas drilling near schools as the reason he circulated the petition.

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