Dover residents who go to the polls in November will likely find a question on their ballots asking if they want to keep their city government in place.
A petition has been filed with Mason County Court Clerk Stephanie Schumacher seeking a referendum on the dissolution of the city.
Schumacher said she has certified the 36 signatures on the petition, which is more than the 24 people or 20 percent of city voters who voted in the last presidential election required by law.
Officials are now awaiting the certification from the city that is it free of long-term debt, Schumacher said. If that is the case, and she said it most likely is, then the question will be placed on the ballot in the November General Election, she said.
The petition to have the question put before voters was initiated by Dover resident James Habermehl, who signed the petition presented to Mayor Bruce Eder on July 15. according to a copy of the petition found on the city’s Facebook page. If successful the city would come under the control of county government.
According to a post of the minutes of the most recent city meeting, the lack of debt was the primary motivation for Habermehl’s petition to unincorporate the city of about 250 residents. But the minutes go on to suggest Habermehl may have personal reasons for the move.
Habermehl did not return a message left on his voicemail on Friday.
City Commissioner Judy Wood said she is not in favor of dissolving the city but will support whatever decision voters make in November, although she also said she would “do whatever I can to convince them not to vote yes.”
With so few required to sign the petition, Wood said she wants to give the other 80 percent of the residents a chance to express their opinion on the matter.
“I think people need to have a choice to decide,” she said.
Other residents said they are concerned about who would maintain city streets and street lights.
Commissioners are planning a public meeting with Mason County Judge-Executive Joe Pfeffer on Sept. 24, at 7 p.m., at the Dover community center. Pfeffer said he welcomes the meeting so residents can learn what to expect and what not to expect from the county if voters approve the unincorporation.
“We’ll have a conversation with them and and answer concerns,” Pfeffer said.
The issue is also on the agenda for Mason County Commission meeting set for Monday, beginning at 9 a.m.
You can read the minutes of the meeting at https://www.facebook.com/groups/historiccityofdoverkentucky/permalink/2125208491134621/