By MIKE WEST, Courier Editor
Getting the state Route 70S issue on the election ballot might not be as easy as previously thought.
At a Jan. 23 open forum County Executive Mike Gannon and Woodbury Mayor Harold Patrick agreed a public vote was the best way of deciding the route of the highway through or around Woodbury.
During the same session, Election Commission Chairman Corey Davenport said he would broach the question with the state.
"I contacted Beth Henry-Robertson (legal representative for the State Election Commission) and asked if we could put the road issue on a referendum and she said no because the county did not have the authority to do that. She checked the Woodbury City Charter and could not find anything that would allow it there either," Davenport said Thursday (Jan. 30).
Henry-Robertson told Davenport Cannon County has two options on the issue.
"We could poll the county voters by sending them a list of choices on the road and collect all of that data and make the decision based off of that," Davenport said.
Or the county could ask Mark Pody or Mae Beavers to ask for a one time "special act" from the Legislature allowing placement of the road issue on the ballot," he said.
"I spoke with Harold Patrick and sent an email to Mike Gannon giving them these details and my suggestion was that if they decide to go with option two then they should bring that back to the next County Commissioners meeting and ask them to pass a resolution asking either Mae or Mark to go to the legislature with the special act on behalf of Cannon County," Davenport said.
The County Commission's next meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. in the Courthouse and is expected to include discussion of the proposed resolution.
"I talked with Harold Patrick and we decided to ask Mark Pody if it could be placed on the ballot," County Executive Mike Gannon said, adding that it was early in the process.
We discussed the option of mailing a questionnaire to voters, but decided that would be too expensive and too involved,Gannon said.