City of Richmond Heights, MO
St. Louis County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 9.1 General Authority.

(a) 
Initiative. The qualified voters of the City shall have power to propose ordinances to the Council and, if the Council fails to adopt an ordinance so proposed without any change in substance, to adopt or reject it at a City election, provided that such power shall not extend to the budget or capital program or any ordinance relating to appropriation of money, levy of taxes, zoning, or salaries of City Officers or employees. A proposed initiative ordinance shall contain only one (1) subject which shall be clearly expressed in its title.
(b) 
Referendum. The qualified voters of the City shall have the power to require reconsideration by the Council of any adopted ordinance and, if the Council 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, any emergency ordinance, any ordinance levying a special assessment or providing for the issuance of special tax bills, or any ordinance relating to appropriation of money, or levy of taxes.
(c) 
Recall. No elected official shall be subject to recall within six (6) months after induction into office nor during the last six (6) months of the official's term. If the elected official is retained in office upon any recall election, the official shall not be subject to recall within six (6) months after such recall election. Recall of the Mayor shall be by petition and vote of the qualified voters of the City; recall of a Council member shall be by petition and vote of such member's district.
The recall question shall be submitted to the voters in substantially the following form:
Shall
Name
Title
be removed from office?
Yes _____
No _____

Section 9.2 Commencement of Proceedings; Petitioners' Committee; Affidavit.

Any five (5) qualified voters may commence initiative, referendum or recall proceedings by filing with the City Clerk an affidavit stating they will constitute the petitioners' committee and be responsible for circulating the petition and filing it in proper form, stating their names and addresses and specifying the address to 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.
Promptly after the affidavit of the petitioners' committee is filed, the clerk shall issue the appropriate petition blanks to the petitioners' committee.

Section 9.3 Petitions.

(a) 
Number of signatures. An initiative petition or a referendum petition not involving zoning shall require signatures of ten percent (10%) of the total number of qualified voters registered to vote at the last regular City election. A referendum petition involving zoning shall require twenty percent (20%) of the total number of qualified voters registered to vote at the last regular City election. A petition for recall of the Mayor shall require twenty percent (20%) of the total number of qualified voters registered to vote at the last regular City election; a petition for recall of a Council member shall require twenty percent (20%) of the total number of qualified voters registered to vote at the last regular City election in such Council member's district.
(b) 
Form and content. All appeals 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, and the date signed. Petitions shall contain or have attached thereto throughout their circulation the full text of the ordinance proposed or sought to be reconsidered.
(c) 
Affidavit of circulator. Each paper of a petition shall have attached to it when filed an affidavit executed by the circulator thereof stating that he or she personally circulated the paper, the number of signatures thereon, that all the signatures were affixed in his or her presence, that he or she 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, or the recall proposition. Such affidavit shall also state the approximate cost of the election.
(d) 
Time for filing referendum petitions. Referendum petitions must be filed within thirty (30) days after adoption by the Council of the ordinance sought to be reconsidered.
(e) 
Time for filing recall petitions. Recall petitions shall be filed within six (6) months of the date of the first (1st) signature to the petition.

Section 9.4 Procedure after Filing.

(a) 
Certificate of City Clerk; amendment. Within twenty (20) days after a petition with the apparent number of required signatures is filed, the City Clerk shall complete a certificate as to its sufficiency, specifying if it is insufficient, the reasons it is defective. A copy of the certificate shall promptly be sent to the petitioners' committee by certified mail, return receipt requested. A petition certified insufficient for lack of the required number of valid signatures may be amended once if, within two (2) days after receiving the copy of such certificate, the petitioners' committee files with the clerk a notice of intention to amend it 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 Subsections (b) and (c) of Section 9.3 and, within five (5) 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, return receipt requested, as in the case of any original petition. If a petition is certified to be insufficient and no timely amended petition is filed, or if an amended petition is certified to be insufficient, no further action shall be had thereon and such determination shall be deemed the final determination.
(b) 
Court review; new petition. A final determination as to the sufficiency of a petition shall be subject to court review in the manner provided by law for review of administrative decisions. A final determination of insufficiency, even if sustained upon court review, shall not prejudice the filing of a new petition for the same purpose.

Section 9.5 Referendum Petitions; Suspension of Effect of Ordinance.

When a referendum petition is timely filed with the City Clerk, the ordinance sought to be reconsidered shall be suspended from taking effect. Such suspension shall terminate when:
(1) 
There is a final determination of insufficiency of the petition, or
(2) 
The petitioners' committee withdraws the petition, or
(3) 
The Council repeals the ordinance, or
(4) 
The election results sustaining the ordinance have been certified.

Section 9.6 Action on Petitions for Initiative and Referendum.

(a) 
Action by Council. When an initiative or referendum petition has been determined sufficient, the Council shall promptly consider the proposed initiative ordinance in the manner provided in Article III or reconsider the referred ordinance by voting its repeal. If the Council fails to adopt a proposed initiative ordinance without any change in substance within sixty (60) days or fails to repeal the referred ordinance within thirty (30) days after the date the petition was finally determined sufficient, it shall submit the proposed or referred ordinance to the voters of the City.
(b) 
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 twenty (120) days from the date of the final Council vote thereon. If no regular City election is to be held within the period prescribed in this Subsection, the Council shall provide for a special election; otherwise, the vote shall be held at the same time as such regular election, except that the Council may in its discretion provide for a special election at an earlier date within the prescribe period. Copies of the proposed or referred ordinance shall be made available at the polls.

Section 9.7 Actions on Petitions for Recall.

When a recall petition has been certified to the City Council as sufficient by the City Clerk, the City Council shall at its next meeting after receipt of such certification fix a date for holding the election. The election shall be held at the next available regular or special election date for which timely notice has been given.

Section 9.8 Withdrawal of Petitions.

An initiative, referendum, or recall petition may be withdrawn at any time prior to the fifteenth (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 petitioners' committee. Upon the filing of such request, the petition shall have no further force or effect and all proceedings thereon shall be terminated.

Section 9.9 Results of Election.

(a) 
Initiative. If a majority of the voters voting on a proposed initiative ordinance vote in its favor, it shall be deemed adopted. If conflicting ordinances are approved at the same election, the one receiving the greatest number of affirmative votes shall prevail.
(b) 
Referendum. If a majority of the electors voting on a referred ordinance vote to repeal the ordinance, it shall be deemed repealed. No ordinance on the same subject or with the same purpose shall be passed by the Council in less than one hundred twenty (120) days after an ordinance has been repealed by referendum.
(c) 
Recall. If a majority of the electors voting at a recall election shall vote in favor of the proposition to remove an official, a vacancy shall exist in the office and such vacancy shall be filled as provided by the Charter. If a majority of the electors voting at a recall election shall vote against the proposition to remove an official, the official shall remain in office. An official who has been removed from office by recall shall be ineligible to serve as an appointed official at any time during the remainder of the term for which the official was elected.