Road group announces intent
to deliver petition

A group formed to carry a petition to allow voters to decide whether Osage County will convert to the county unit road maintenance system was expected to deliver the petition to the county clerk Wednesday morning.

Emory Elliot, Overbrook, chairman of Voter’s Rights Patrol, the name adopted by the group, notified The Herald-Chronicle Monday that approximately 2,100 signatures had been collected on the petition. Although approximately 1,080 registered voters’ signatures are required to validate the petition, the stated goal of the group was to collect as many names as possible before the deadline of May 25.

Elliot said he and other members of the group would deliver the petition to Osage County Clerk Rhonda Beets at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

If enough signatures are certified by Beets, the issue will go to a vote, likely during the November general election.

In February, the Osage County Commission approved a resolution that would convert the county to a road maintenance system in which the county is responsible for maintaining all roads in the county except for city streets and state and federal highways. The action followed the filing of a petition Feb. 5 by Perry Thompson, Osage City. That petition requested the Osage County Commission “adopt provisions of the county road unit system” by resolution.

The resolution set a 90-day time limit for citizens to file a petition to bring the issue to a vote.

Osage County currently operates under the county-township system, in which the county maintains main traveled roads in the county road system, and townships maintain local roads not in cities and not maintained by the county. Under the county unit road system, the county is responsible for maintaining all roads outside cities except for state and federal highways.