Blaine Township residents to decide home-rule issue,
March 11th, 2009
Residents of Blaine Township will see two sets of questions on home rule on their ballots in the May 19 primary, where 10 candidates are seeking seven seats on a study commission.
Voters will be able to vote in favor of or against the seating of a study commission.
This question will be followed by a list of candidates.
"Even if you vote no, you would have an opportunity to select whomever you want," said Larry Spahr, Washington County elections director.
Those who are trying for seats on the home-rule study commission include Robert Chuey, a school psychologist with Canon-McMillan School District; Fred C. Cramer, president and vice president of Hospitality Hardware Solutions Inc., Bethel Park; Laureen S. Cramer, secretary and treasurer of Hospitality Hardware; Kenneth Patterson Jr., a salesman; James McElhaney, a retired minister; Thomas E. Westfall and Robert Kennedy, who are retired; Margaret Darlene Dutton, a nurse; Karen Duerr, a farmer; and Michael Vacca, a construction laborer and member of Local Union 373, Monroeville.
Fred Cramer got the ball rolling on the home-rule issue, turning over to the Washington County elections office in late January a sheaf of petitions bearing 85 signatures in favor of the home-rule referendum question appearing on primary ballots.
The township raised the ire of two coal companies by passing ordinances to preserve its rural nature and restrict longwall mining.
Blaine, which counted only 597 residents in the 2000 U.S. Census and includes the village of Taylorstown, will hold the first home-rule referendum in Washington County since Canonsburg residents voted it down four years ago.