Council shall protect and promote the right of citizens to participate in a positive and constructive manner in the government of the Township.
The registered electors of the Township shall have the power to propose ordinances to the Council. If the Council fails to adopt an ordinance so proposed without any change in substance, the registered electors shall have the power to adopt or reject it at an election.
The registered electors of the Township shall have the power to require reconsideration by the Council of any adopted ordinance. If the Council fails to repeal an ordinance so reconsidered, the registered electors shall have the power to approve or reject it at an election.
The powers of initiative and referendum shall not extend to any ordinances pertaining to the appropriation of monies or the levying of taxes. An exception to this limitation shall be a referendum on specific projects of the capital program of an adopted Township Financial Plan.
Any five registered electors may commence initiative or referendum proceedings by filing an affidavit with the Township Secretary. The affidavit shall state that they will constitute the petitioners' committee and be responsible for circulating the petition and filing it in proper form. The affidavit shall contain their names and addresses and shall specify the address to which all notices to the committee are to be sent. The affidavit shall contain the full text of the proposed ordinance or it shall cite the ordinance sought to be reconsidered.
After the affidavit is filed, the Secretary shall, within twenty days, issue the appropriate petition forms to the petitioners' committee. The Township Secretary shall have the proper form available which has been approved by the Council for the purpose of filing initiative and referendum petitions.
Number of Signatures. Initiative and referendum petitions must be signed by registered electors of the Township equal in number to at least five percent of the registered electors of the Township.
Form of Petitions. All papers of a petition shall be assembled as one instrument for filing. Each signature shall be executed in ink and followed by the address of the person signing, his election district and date of 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 he personally circulated the paper and that he is a registered elector. Said affidavit shall also state that all the signatures were affixed in his presence, that he believes them to be 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.
Period of Circulation of Petitions. The petition must be circulated and signed within a period of thirty days between the date of the first signature and the date at which the petition papers are submitted.
The Township Secretary shall, within ten (10) days after a petition is filed, examine the petition for compliance with the provisions of this Charter. The Secretary shall submit the petition to the Township Solicitor for his written opinion as to legality within ten days of filing. If lawful but defective in form, and in compliance with the meaning of this Article, the Township Solicitor shall provide a proper revision of the petition. He shall certify the results of his examination by registered mail to the Committee of the Petitioners, the Council Chairman and the Township Secretary not more than twenty (20) days from the date the Solicitor received the petition.
When an initiative or referendum petition has been certified by the Solicitor, the Council shall, at its next meeting, consider the proposed initiative ordinance or reconsider the referred ordinance in the manner provided by this Charter. If the Council fails to adopt a proposed initiative ordinance without any change in substance or fails to repeal the referred ordinance, it shall submit the proposed or referred ordinance to the voters of the Township at the next election provided that said election is held not less than sixty (60) days from the first presentation of the petition to the Council.
Initiative. If a majority of the voters voting on a proposed initiative ordinance vote in favor, it shall be 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 Council. If conflicting ordinances are approved at the same election, the one receiving the greatest number of affirmative votes shall prevail.
Referendum. If a majority of the voters voting on a referendum ordinance vote against it, it shall be repealed upon certification of the election results.
Limitation. Council shall not reverse the substantive results of an initiative or referendum vote for at least one year following the certification of such vote.
General. Any person holding an elective office of the Township government, whether by election, succession or appointment to fill a vacancy, shall be subject to removal from office at a recall election in the manner provided in this Charter.
Number of Signatures: A recall of an incumbent of an elective office shall be initiated upon petition signed by twenty percent of the registered electors of the Township who are eligible to vote for said office. Every recall petition shall name the office and officer against whom it is directed.
Form of Petitions: All papers of a petition shall be assembled as one instrument for filing. Each signature shall be executed in ink and followed by the address of the person signing, his election district and date of signing.
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 personally circulated the paper and that he is a registered elector. Said affidavit shall also state that all the signatures were affixed in his presence, that he believes them to be genuine signatures of the persons whose names they purport to be and that to the best of the affiant's knowledge and belief, the persons signed with full knowledge of the contents of the petition.
Period of Circulation of Petitions: The recall petition must be circulated within a period of thirty days between the date of the first signature and the date at which the petition papers are submitted.
Filing with County Board of Elections: A recall petition shall be tendered for filing to the County Board of Elections. Upon tender to the Board of Elections, copies of the petition shall be available (or examination at the Township Building by any interested person. Within fifteen days after tender of the petition, the Board of Elections shall pass upon the validity of the petition and the validity and number of signatures required thereon. The decision of the Board of Elections shall be subject to review within thirty days by appeal to the Court of Common Pleas.
Notice to the Incumbent. As soon as the County Board of Elections has received a recall petition for filing and determined its validity and sufficiency, the Chairman of the Board shall notify the incumbent named in the petition within twenty days that the petition has been filed. Upon receipt of such notice, the incumbent may resign from his office and thereupon the recall proceedings shall terminate.
Recall Elections. If the incumbent against whom a recall petition is directed does not resign from his office within ten (10) days after notice of the filing of such petition shall have been given to him, the County Board of Elections shall arrange a recall election to be held at the next election to be held not less than thirty (30) days after the ten (10) days have expired. The incumbent against whom a recall petition is directed may resign at any time prior to the recall election and thereupon the election shall not be held. The following question shall be presented to each registered elector in a recall election: "Shall (name of officer) be recalled and removed from the office of (name of office)?" The above question shall appear as to every officer whose recall is to be voted upon and provision shall be made for the registered elector to vote "Yes" or "No" on the question. If a majority of the vote on the question at a recall election shall be "Yes," the incumbent shall be deemed recalled and removed from office, but if a majority of such vote shall be "No," he shall remain in office. Should the result of such election be affirmative, the date of the removal and vacancy in the office shall be seven (7) days subsequent to the date when the results of the election are certified by the County Board of Elections, unless such date is further postponed by order of the court.
Disqualification for Office. No person who has been removed from an elective office by a recall election or who has resigned from such an elective office after a recall petition directed to him has been filed, shall be eligible for election or appointment to any office of the Township government within two (2) years after his removal or resignation.
Limitations. No recall petition shall be filed against any incumbent of an elective office within the first year or the last nine months of the term of his office or within nine months after an unsuccessful recall election against him.