Newspaper wants names of those who signed petition
CHARLES TOWN, West Virginia: Controversy continues over the Jefferson County Zoning Petition, an effort started in 2008 by a group of Jefferson County, West Virginia residents to put the county's new zoning ordinance up for a public vote through the veto referendum process.
Residents Ronda Lehman and Ed Burns collected more than 2,000 signatures on a petition requesting a public vote. They submitted the signatures to the Jefferson County Clerk's Office for verification.
As of June 2009, a vote has not been scheduled, although the ordinance has been held in abeyance.
Officials of the county have asked that the signatures on the petition be made available for public review.
Two lawsuits have been filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court. One lawsuit, filed on behalf of a local newspaper, the Shepherdstown Observer, asks for access to copies of the signed petitions.
Circulator Ronda Lehman says that the privacy of those who signed the petition should be protected.