City council will weigh sending Lake Erie Bill of Rights to Lucas County BOE

Both Keep the Jail Downtown and the Lake Erie Bill of Rights proposals were discussed at an August Board of Election meeting (WNWO).

A special election is coming to Lucas County voters in February.

The question is, will it have on the ballot one proposal or two?

Right now, a vote to keep the county jail in Downtown Toledo will be up to residents on February 26th.

A group supporting the Lake Erie Bill of Rights is looking to add to that.

"We want people to have a stronger avenue to protect their water. We want to be able to prevent things from happening to it, and not just let's clean up what happened to it and just take that burden," said Toledoans for Safe Water Organizer, Markie Miller.

The group, Toledoans for Safe Water, has been around and has grown since the 2014 Water Crisis in Toledo.

It has gained some momentum, along with the Keep the Jail Downtown Group, after both submitted petitions this year to make a run at the November election.

In August, the Lucas County Board of Elections shot down any attempt of this.

Soon after, the Ohio Supreme Court voted to not step in and place the Lake Erie Bill of Rights on the November ballot.

Now, they could potentially be on a special election together in just three months.

"It's two separate groups. It's two separate issues, but when we were campaigning, initially collecting signatures, we were very linked up. We were going to the same locations. We were working with each group to say where we were going to go and share tips and ideas," said Miller.

Toledo City Council will decide on Tuesday whether or not to send the Lake Erie Bill of Rights to the Lucas County Board of Elections.

They are also voting on approving up to $275,000 for the February special election.

"For us to have to take $250,000-300,000 for the special election, I'm really upset about that," declared Council Member Larry Sykes.

The money will come entirely from local taxpayers.

"Well, there's a lot that you've got to do. It's just the cost of the operation," said Sykes.

The Lake Erie of Bill of Rights would give the body of water its own right exist, flourish, and naturally evolve. It'd also allow anyone to defend its rights.

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