Charter: Article XIV
Initiative, Referendum, and Recall

Section 14.1. Initiative

The electors shall have power to propose any ordinance, except an ordinance appropriating money and to adopt or reject the same at the polls, such power being known as the initiative. Any initiated ordinance may be submitted to the council by a petition signed by qualified electors of the City equal in number to at least seven percent of the total number of persons registered to vote at the last general municipal election in April.

Approved by vote of the people August 7, 2012.

Section 14.2. Referendum

The electors shall have the power to approve or reject at the polls any ordinance passed by the council, or submitted by the council to a vote of the electors, excepting emergency ordinances as provided for in Section 2.12 of this Charter, ordinances for the levying of taxes, or for the issuance of special tax bills, as provided in this Charter, such power being known as the referendum. Ordinances submitted to the council by initiative petitions and passed by the council shall be subject to the referendum in the same manner as other ordinances. Within thirty (30) days after the enactment by the council or by initiative of any ordinance which is subject to referendum, a petition signed by qualified electors of the City equal in number to at least ten percent of the total number of persons voting in the last general municipal election in April may be filed with the city clerk, requesting that such ordinance either be repealed or submitted to a vote of the electors.

Approved by vote of the people November 5, 1991.

Section 14.3. Petitions

All petition papers comprising an initiative or referendum shall be assembled and filed with the city clerk as one instrument. Every initiative petition shall contain the full text of the measure proposed and every referendum shall contain the full title of the ordinance referred, but the signatures to any petition need not all be appended to one paper. Each signer, after his name, shall designate his residence by street and number, or by other description sufficient to identify his place of residence, and the circulator of each such paper shall make oath before an officer competent to administer oaths that he believes each signature appended to the petition to be the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be, that he believes each such signer to be a legal voter, and that all signatures were affixed in his presence, and shall designate his residence by street and number.

Section 14.4. Filing and certification of petition

Within twenty days after a petition is filed, the city clerk shall determine whether each paper of the petition has a proper statement of circulator and whether the petition is signed by a sufficient number of qualified electors. If a petition paper is found to be signed by fewer persons than the number certified, the signatures shall be accepted unless void on other grounds. After completing his examination of the petition, the city clerk shall certify the result thereof to the council at its next regular meeting. If he shall certify that the petition is insufficient, he shall set forth in his certificate the particulars in which it is defective and shall at once notify the person filing the petition of his findings.

Section 14.5. Amended petitions

An initiative or referendum petition may be amended at any time within ten days after the notification of insufficiency by filing a supplementary petition upon additional papers executed and filed as provided in case of an original petition. The city clerk shall, within five days after such an amendment is filed, make examination of the amended petition; if the petition be still insufficient, he shall file his certificate to that effect in his office and notify the person filing the petition of his findings, and no further action shall be had on such insufficient petition. A finding of insufficiency in a petition shall not prejudice the filing of a new petition for the same purpose.


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