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Home-rule concept heads for defeat in St. Thomas

November 08, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The voters of St. Thomas Township Tuesday night apparently rejected a referendum to establish a local government study commission that could have drafted a home-rule charter.

With two of three precincts reporting at 11:30 p.m., the referendum was failing by a vote of 487 to 107, according to incomplete and unofficial results from the Franklin County Election Board.

The referendum was placed on the ballot by St. Thomas Alliance for a New Direction, which also endorsed a slate of seven candidates that would have served on the seven-member commission. A group of nine other residents, most of whom opposed the referendum, filed to appear on the ballot, but their nominating petitions were later challenged in court and five were removed by a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court judge's decision.

If the ballot question is not approved, however, the 3,253 votes, including 812 write-ins, cast for the 11 candidates on the ballot and five declared write-in candidates become a moot point.

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