LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WCMH) — Thousands of people in a Delaware County community are banding together and trying to kick two of their elected leaders out of office.
On Tuesday, residents filed petitions to remove Liberty Township Trustees Melanie Leneghan and Michael Gemperline from office.
The petition stems from ongoing issues involving the town’s emerengcy medical services.
Over the course of several months, residents said they circulated the petitions.
“We got 4,062 signatures,” said resident Ron Minto, who helped deliver the petitions to the courthouse. “I am one of them.”
Minto and thousands of other Liberty Township residents who signed the petitions said they want Gemperline and Leneghan removed from office.
“That message is that, first of all, we don’t like the direction of our township, and second of all, we believe there has been unlawful conduct by our trustees and we want it adjudicated,” said Minto, who is also a member of the Save Liberty Fire/EMS group.
Over the course of several months and several meetings, many in the community have been fighting a proposal to outsource the towship’s fire and EMS services to Delaware County.
Gemperline and Leneghan support the move.
The proposal to outsource the services, which many feared would reduce the public’s safety, is just part of the list of reasons for the petitions.
Resident Nico Franano, also a member of the Save Liberty Fire/EMS group, said the community tried working with Gemperline and Leneghan, and while the trustees aren’t currently discussing fire and EMS changes, there is a concern that could change.
“Anytime that trustees Leneghan or Gemperline are on the board, they can bring up a resolution with any regularly scheduled meeting on the agenda, or even during unscheduled business,” Franano said.
That possibility of bringing up resolutions at any time has the Save Liberty Fire/EMS group concerned.
On the list of claims against the two trustees, residents said Leneghan and Gemperline haven’t been transparent in their decision to remove the township’s medical director.
All of this coming as the future of the town’s board of trustees is now in the hands of the court.
“We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe there was unlawful conduct for which two of our trustees should be removed from office but if nothing else, we have sent a very clear message about what we expect from how our township should be governed,” Minto said.
In a statement, Leneghan wrote:
I have not seen the petition but I can assure you that there is no basis for such petition. This is nothing more than political enemies on the left who are spearheading this effort and trying to disrupt our community. Like every other conservative who runs for office to actually work for the people to make sure government is running efficiently and working for ALL and not just special interest groups, they are ridiculed by the left who only care about gaining power and obstructing progress.Melanie Leneghan statement
Gemperline has responded to a request for comment.