Ballot Question

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During the last county commission meeting, the commissioners were told by the supervisor of elections they had to decide on the wording for airport referendum during the March primary.

Rosalie Schaefer is the president of the Bay County Citizens' Coalition, a non-profit group made up of advocates for Bay County. The coalition sent a letter to all the commissioners this week asking them to keep the wording simple and to the point.

"We sent in a letter because after the last commission meeting, we became concerned because there was a lot of discussion of many different types of wording," said Schaefer.

Commissioner Cornell Brock suggested four ballot questions, rather than a simple yes or no vote in support of moving the airport.

"So, we though it was very important that the citizens get a very clear question to answer on the ballot, so that it's clear what their wishes are and it sends a clear signal to the decision makers."

Schaefer says the coalition understands this is still a non-binding referendum, therefore does not legally bind the airport authority to go along with what the voters decide, but she says it's still best if those who make the decisions know what the voter's want.

"Many decisions are being made by agencies, also both the county and the city will appoint airport authority board members so there's still a chance for the citizen's to impact the decision making," says Schaefer.

The county commissioners have to decide the exact language to make a 5 p.m. deadline to the supervisor of elections next Tuesday.