As Election Day nears, Peters Township officials are pleading voters to oppose the anti-drilling referendum, filed by the Marcellus Shale Awareness & Action group, placed on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Earlier this month, of placing the amendment on the ballot following the to let voters decide whether to amend the township's home rule charter to ban gas drilling.
A lawsuit by Peters Township officials failed to stop the referendum.
The two-page letter, released and mailed to Peters residents Monday—begging voters to oppose the drill ban—is signed unanimously by Peters Township Council.
"A Home Rule Charter Referendum on the ballot Nov. 8 will have numerous serious effects on the future of our community if approved.
"On the surface, it leads voters to believe that it's solely a ban on Marcellus Shale drilling in our community; however, if you read the "fine print," it's much more than that. It changes landowner rights, opens the Township to numerous lawsuits, and puts the future of our community in financial jeopardy."
"And, what's even more detrimental is that this referendum violates residents' federally protected constitutional rights. It also proposes that the Township is not subject to both the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions.
"If passed, this amendment raises serious concerns over the validity of our Home Rule Charter and the financial future of our community.
"We have an outstanding community and want to maintain its natural environment for future generations. And, because of that, Peters Township Council has enacted zoning ordinances to protect residents while strictly regulating Gas Drilling."
At Monday night's council meeting, members set a budget workshop for Nov. 7 to begin planning the 2012 budget.
Tuesday, Peters Township Manager Michael Silvestri said council will consider adding a 2-mill tax increase to cover legal expenses if the is approved in the Nov. 8 election.
Silvestri said the two-mil increase will not be added if the amendment is defeated.
To read the letter in its entirety, and the ordinance, see the attached documents.