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Ripley Stop Sign Proposal (2009)

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The Ripley Stop Sign Initiative is a local ballot initiative that could potentially occur in Brown County for voters in the village Ripley, Ohio if an emergency is passed for a four-way stop installation at the corner of the intersection at Cherry and Third streets, located in the village limits.[1]

Opposition of initiative

Council members Daniel Dragoo and Scott Eagan argued that an emergency is appropriate because the signs will protect the safety of citizens at the nearby park. Dragoo anticipated activity at the park to increase during the summer months.

"If you are going to vote for it eventually, why not vote for it now, instead of prolonging it another month and a half," said Dragoo, "when in that month and a half, during the summer, while the kids are out of school and down there playing, someone could get run over while we are having the three readings. That's my whole reason for suspending the rules."

Support of initiative

Village council member Karen Spires disagreed with the proposed stop signs and the process by which they have been instituted. She stated tha there is not enough traffic on that intersection to warrant the stop, and that council's passage of the measure as an emergency and without three readings does not give local residents an opportunity to oppose the issue through a referendum. Therefore, Spires supports the

Path to initiative

Village Solicitor Jay Cutrell agreed with Spires' contention that a referendum cannot be placed on the ballot if the ordinance is passed as an emergency. However, Cutrell also stated that voters would have the opportunity to repeal the regulation using a ballot initiative.

Under Chapter 731.17 of the Ohio Revised Code, municipal governments in Ohio are required to give separate "readings" of a proposed ordinance during three different meetings before the ordinance can be approved. However, councils do have the option to suspend the three readings rule and pass an ordinance the first time it is offered if at least three-fourths of its members agree to the suspension:

"Each ordinance or resolution shall be read on three different days, provided the legislative authority may dispense with this rule by a vote of at least three-fourths of its members."[2]

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