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Youngstown voters will decide in May whether to approve a Community Bill of Rights which would ban fracking within the city limits. Monday, both sides debated the issue at a candidate’s forum at New Bethel Baptist Church.
Attorney David Betras is opposed to the issue while Don Williams represented those pushing passage of the Charter Amendment. Williams said the state has failed to properly regulate gas and oil drilling, so citizens must take action.
“They are willing to make every single person in this room ill for money, for corporate profits, and that is why we must not fail ourselves,” said Williams.
Betras spoke out about the legality and consequences of the amendment.
“But this charter amendment is bad law. It has unintended consequences. It will kill jobs and opportunity in your city,” said Betras.
If the amendment is passed, any citizen in Youngstown could enforce the law through court action. There are questions as to whether the amendment would violate state law if approved.
Among the panelists for the forum, was WKBN and WYTV reporter and anchor Damon Maloney.