WARREN - Ordinances to end tax credits for village residents working outside Newton Falls and to give a portion of the village's utility fund to the police department should not be on the ballot for referendum, according to the village's law director.
Attorney Joe Fritz wrote that's his opinion because neither ordinance created a new law, making the acts administrative and ''not legislative acts that are subject to referendum.''
Fritz said he also found a number of form errors on the petition.
This has village Clerk Kathleen King asking the Trumbull County Board of Elections for direction on whether she can certify the petitions back to the elections board; but before the elections board can ask for any sort of legal review, it needs the petitions to be returned certified, its attorney says.
''It does appear that they need to complete the statutory process to make the initial determination of sufficiency and validity before we can do any legal analysis,'' said Jim Saker, assistant Trumbull County prosecutor.
The elections board in March determined the petitions had more than the 141 required valid signatures - at least 10 percent of the number of electors who voted for governor in the village in the November 2010 election - to be on the ballot.
King on Friday forwarded to the elections board Fritz's opinion from July 16 along with her Thursday letter asking the board to make a determination on the issue. Elections board director Kelly Pallante said the correspondence has been passed on to Saker for a determination.
The ordinances would bring additional revenue into the village's general fund budget to help bridge the gap between the police department's needs and deficit.
One ordinance would repeal the ''forgiveness'' credit given to residents for tax paid to another municipality, and re-establish a method to charge for administrative support services to bring in more money.
The other would re-establish administrative support services to the police department, which had been done away with by council in 2010.
The 7 percent fee would be split among the village's utilities: power, electric, water and sewer.