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Depew dissolution petition has enough signatures for vote, board says

The Erie County Board of Elections on Wednesday verified there are enough valid signatures on a petition to hold a referendum on dissolving Depew’s village government.

“They’re well within the margin they need to qualify to have the referendum,” Commissioner Leonard R. Lenihan said.

Of the 1,712 signatures submitted last week, 1,518 were found to be valid, he said. Organizers of the petition needed only 986.

Lenihan said the Board of Elections would notify Joan M. Priebe and Irvine G. Reinig II, the residents who spearheaded the door-to-door petitioning that began in earnest last June, that they can pursue their effort with the village clerk.

Village Administrator Maureen T. Jerackas is also reviewing the petition and said her final determination would be made by late Thursday afternoon.

If Jerackas reaches the same determination as the Board of Elections, the Village Board would have 30 days to approve a resolution calling for a vote, which would then be held within 60 to 90 days, she said.

Depew has never voted on dissolution. Two-thirds of the village lies in Cheektowaga, with the remaining third in the Town of Lancaster. If a referendum to dissolve the village is passed, both of those communities would have to absorb Depew.

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