BG Chamber: Charter amendment will scare off businesses

As a representative of the business community, the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce believes it is important for citizens to thoroughly read the proposed City Charter Amendment. If passed, there are real unintended consequences to our community.

A portion of the actual ballot language reads “If the City of Bowling Green fails to enforce or defend this Amendment, or, a court fails to uphold this Amendment, any person may enforce this Amendment” and “City of Bowling Green law enforcement, and cooperating agencies acting within the jurisdiction of the City of Bowling Green, shall have no lawful authority to surveil, detain, arrest, or otherwise impede persons enforcing these rights.” The BGCC finds this specific language very disturbing. It implies anyone acting on behalf of this amendment, can break laws without consequences; our local law enforcement agencies are restricted from safeguarding our community from potential harmful activities ‘protected’ under this amendment; and even our court system is belittled.

This proposed amendment would directly obstruct or stop any business/industry interested in locating or currently operating in Bowling Green who is affiliated with fossil fuel (whether used by residents or businesses). Passage essentially puts a sign on the city limits proclaiming “Bowling Green is closed for business.” Also, this amendment impacts our city treasury. The cost to enforce and the first time it attempts to enforce, there will be a lawsuit challenging the amendment. And yet, individuals who claim to be so concerned about the welfare of Bowling Green residents have no qualms about taking funds out of the public treasury… funds potentially earmarked towards projects that maintain our quality of life and make Bowling Green a ‘Best Hometown’.

The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce and its Board of Directors encourages citizens to vote NO. This proposed amendment is neither community nor business friendly, it drains the public coffers, and prohibits our law enforcement and judicial systems to protect Bowling Green from potential harmful activities. If these concerns are not enough, then read sections (c), (d) and (e). These sections are aimed at stripping the rights of anyone to challenge the amendment; claims to be preemptive of any state/federal laws; and states any form of government ‘is illegitimate and has no authority over the people” if the government does not protect the rights stated in the amendment.

To find the entire ballot language go to www.co.wood.oh.us/boe under Questions and Issues List.

Earlene Kilpatrick, Executive Director

Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce

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