[Added 7-16-1985 by Ord. No. 85-14, Ref. of 3-4-1986; amended 4-15-1986 by Ord. No. 86-05, Ref. of 3-3-1987; 1-20-1987 by Ord. No. 86-21, Ref. of 3-3-1987; 6-13-1995 by Ord. No. 95-06, Ref. of 3-5-1996]
[Amended 12-10-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-08, Ref. of 3-17-2020]
The qualified voters of the City shall have the power to propose ordinances to the Commission. If the Commission fails to adopt the proposed ordinance without any change in substance, the qualified voters may, through the initiative process set forth in this Charter, seek to require the Commission to adopt or reject the proposed ordinance by vote at a City election; provided that such power shall be limited to legislative matters and shall not extend to budget or capital program or any ordinance relating to appropriation of money, levy of taxes or salaries of City employees.
The qualified voters of the City shall have power to require reconsideration by the Commission of any adopted ordinance dealing with a legislative matter and, if the Commission fails to repeal an ordinance so reconsidered, to approve or reject it at a City election, provided that such power shall not extend to the budget or capital program or any emergency ordinances relating to appropriation of money, levy of taxes or salaries of City employees.
[Amended 6-26-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-03, Ref. of 3-5-2002]
Commencement of proceedings. Any five (5) qualified voters of the City may commence initiative and referendum proceedings by filing with the City Clerk an affidavit stating that they will constitute the petitioners' committee and be responsible for supervising the circulation of the petition and filing it in proper form, stating their names and addresses and specifying the addresses at which all notices to the committee are to be sent, and setting out in full the proposed initiative ordinance or citing the ordinance sought to be reconsidered. Any person who circulates the petition on behalf of the committee shall be at least eighteen (18) years of age and capable of lawfully executing an affidavit. Promptly after the affidavit of the petitioners' committee is filed, the City Clerk shall, if requested by the committee, issue the appropriate petition blanks to the petitioners' committee at the committee's expense.
Number of signatures. Initiative and referendum petitions must be signed by qualified voters of the City equal to a number at least ten percent (10%) of the total number of qualified voters registered to vote at the last general City election.
Form and content. All papers of a petition shall be uniform in size and style and shall be assembled as one (1) instrument for filing. Each signature shall be executed in ink or indelible pencil and shall be followed by the address of the person signing. Petitions shall contain or have attached thereto throughout their circulation the full text of the ordinance proposed or sought to be reconsidered.
Affidavit of circulator. Each paper of a petition shall have attached to it, when filed, an affidavit executed by the circulator thereof stating that the circulator personally circulated the paper, the number of signatures thereon, that all the signatures were affixed in the circulator's presence, that the circulator believes them to be the genuine signatures of the persons whose names they purport to be and that each signer had an opportunity, before signing, to read the full text of the ordinance proposed or sought to be reconsidered.
Procedure for filing.
Certificate of Clerk; amendment. Within thirty (30) days after the petition is filed the City Clerk shall complete a certificate as to its sufficiency, specifying, if it is insufficient, the particulars wherein it is defective, and shall promptly send a copy of the certificate to the petitioners' committee by certified mail. Grounds for insufficiency are only those specified in Section 6.03(b). A petition certified insufficient for lack of the required number of valid signatures may be amended once if the petitioners' committee files a notice of intention to amend it with the City Clerk within two (2) days after receiving the copy of the certificate and files a supplementary petition upon additional papers within ten (10) days after receiving the copy of such certificate. Such supplementary petition shall comply with the requirements of § 6.03(b)(2) and (3), and within thirty (30) days after it is filed the City Clerk shall complete a certificate as to the sufficiency of the petition, as amended, and promptly send a copy of such certificate to the petitioners' committee by certified mail as in the case of an original petition. If a petition or amended petition is certified sufficient, or if a petition or amended petition is certified insufficient and the petitioners' committee does not elect to amend or request Commission review under Subsection (c)(2) of this section within the time required, the City Clerk shall promptly present the certificate to the Commission, and the certificate shall then be a final determination as to the sufficiency of the petition.
[Amended 10-9-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-06, Ref. of 1-29-2008]
Commission review. If a petition has been certified insufficient and the petitioners' committee does not file notice of intention to amend it, or if an amended petition has been certified insufficient, the committee may, within two (2) days after receiving the copy of such certificate, file a request that it be reviewed by the Commission. The Commission shall review the certificate at its next meeting following the filing of such request and approve or disapprove it, and the Commission's determination shall then be a final determination as to the sufficiency of the petition.
Referendum petitions; no effect on ordinance while pending. When a referendum petition is filed with the City Clerk, the ordinance sought to be reconsidered shall remain fully in effect, pending approval by Commission vote or by referendum in accordance with the other provisions herein. The ordinance to be reconsidered shall only cease to be in effect when:
Action on petitions.
Action by the Commission. When an initiative or referendum petition has been finally determined sufficient, the Commission shall promptly consider the proposed initiative ordinance or reconsider the referred ordinance by voting its repeal. If the Commission fails to adopt a proposed initiative ordinance without any change in substance within ninety (90) days or fails to repeal the referred ordinance within ninety (90) days, it shall submit the proposed or referred ordinance to the voters of the City.
Submission to voters. The vote of the City on a proposed or referred ordinance shall be held not less than thirty (30) days and not later than one hundred eighty (180) days from the date that the petition was determined sufficient. If no regular City election is to be held within the period prescribed in this subsection, the Commission shall provide for a special election; otherwise, the vote shall be held at the same time as such regular election, except that the Commission may, in its discretion, provide for a special election at an earlier date within the prescribed period. Copies of the proposed or referred ordinance shall be made available at the polls.
[Amended 10-9-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-06, Ref. of 1-29-2008]
Withdrawal of petitions. An initiative or referendum petition may be withdrawn at any time prior to the 15th day preceding the day scheduled for a vote of the City by filing with the City Clerk a request for withdrawal signed by at least four (4) members of the petitioner's committee. Upon the filing of such request, the petition shall have no further force or effect, and all proceedings thereon shall be terminated.
Results of election.
Initiative. If a majority of the qualified electors voting on a proposed initiative ordinance vote in its favor, it shall be considered adopted upon certification of the election results and shall be treated in all respects in the same manner as ordinances of the same kind adopted by the Commission. If conflicting ordinances are approved at the same election, the one receiving the greatest number of affirmative votes shall prevail to the extent of such conflict. An ordinance created by initiative referendum cannot be repealed except by referendum.
Referendum. If a majority of the qualified electors voting on a referred ordinance vote against it, it shall be considered repealed upon certification of the election results. The City Commission shall not enact any ordinance which has the same substantive effect as an ordinance repealed by referendum, unless it is approved at a subsequent referendum.