Sec. 6-200Right to enact ordinances.
Sec. 6-201Collection of signatures.
Sec. 6-202Form and filing of petition.
Sec. 6-203Verification of signatures, and ballot placement.
Sec. 6-204Approval of petition ordinances; recirculation.
Sec. 6-205Further regulations.
The right to enact ordinances is hereby granted to the qualified electors of the city by initiative, notwithstanding the provisions of Section 1-101 of this Charter, provided that such power shall not extend to the budget or capital programs to the levy of taxes, or to the salaries and benefits of city officials or employees.
Any elector or group of electors who desire to circulate an initiative petition shall first file notice of their intention to do so, together with a copy of the petition, with the city clerk, and with the City Solicitor. The City Solicitor shall forthwith review the petition for conformity with the provisions of Sections 6-200 and 6-204 of this chapter, and file his/her opinion thereon with the city clerk in writing. If the City Solicitors shall have approved the petition, the city clerk shall certify the date upon which their opinion was received. No signatures collected prior to such certification shall be valid. Following certification, those who filed said notice of intention shall have 60 days to secure a total number of valid signatures equal to at least 10% of the number of registered electors in the city as of the date of certification, said total to include the valid signatures of at least 5% of the electors resident in each of the six wards of the city.
The signatures of any initiative petition provided for in this chapter may be on separate papers, provided, however, that each such separate paper shall contain a full and correct copy of the title and text of the proposed ordinance and all shall be bound together and filed as one instrument with the city clerk. To each said separate paper there shall be attached a signed statement of the circulator thereof, who states therein under oath, that each signature appended to said paper was made in the presence of the circulator.
Upon receipt of any such petition after completion of signature collection, the city clerk shall forthwith submit it to the board of canvassers who shall have 14 days to verify the signatures thereon and report their findings to the city clerk. If the canvassers report that a petition has sufficient signatures as required in Section 2-201 of this chapter, the city clerk shall make the necessary arrangements to have the question of approval or rejection of the ordinance which appears on said petition placed on the ballot for the next ensuing state general election or municipal election, whichever come first with sufficient time for placement of the initiative question thereon.
Any ordinance placed on the ballot as a result of the circulation of an initiative petition which shall receive a majority of the votes cast thereon shall be deemed to have been enacted, and shall take effect thirty days following the date of the vote thereon as an ordinance of the city, unless otherwise provided for in the petition. No ordinance thus enacted shall be repealed or be the subject of any substantive amendment by the city council for a period of three years following the effective date thereof. In the event of the rejection of an ordinance by the voters which shall have been placed on the ballot as a result of the circulation of an initiative petition, no new petition shall be circulated to place the same ordinance on the ballot, nor an ordinance for substantially the same purpose, for two years from the date of the certification of the rejected petition by the city clerk as provided in Section 6-201 of this chapter.
The city council may, by ordinance, make such other further regulations for carrying out the provisions of this chapter as are not inconsistent herewith.