As we reported here, late Friday afternoon, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the Maple Heights City Council had to follow the Constitution of the State and place on the ballot a Charter Amendment that has been submitted to Council on a petition signed by more than 10% of the City electorate. The Charter Amendment will effectively ban the use of red light and speeding cameras within the City.
Until Friday's ruling, the Council had thumbed their collective noses at the citizens and simply refused to vote -- up or down -- on the question of placing the issue before the voters. Their excuse before the Ohio Supreme Court was that some six weeks after the petitions were submitted they simply has not gotten around to voting just yet. The Ohio Constitution requires that they act "forthwith," which in plain English means "immediately."
The issue was fully briefed before the Supreme Court last Thursday and just 24 hours later the Court ruled 6-0 that the Council had to place the issue on the ballot. Even more, the Court ordered the City to pay the Plaintiffs' attorneys fees. Now that's fast work!
Tonight, the Council finally met. They postponed their originally-scheduled 6:30 meeting until 8:30 PM, and tried to keep the public out with locked doors. Then, the Council discussed the issue and Councilman Anthony Cefaratti complained loudly that he was offended at the Ohio Supreme Court telling him how to do his job. (Imagine, a Court ordering public officials to follow the law!)
Finally, the voters of Maple Heights -- under Supreme Court order -- have assured that the people of Maple Heights will have a public vote on Red Light Cameras in that fine City.
These guys in Maple Heights did not go down without a fight. They are a funny bunch!