[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Council of the Village of New Haven 11-14-2017 by Ord. No. 344. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Common Council — See Ch. 23.
This chapter shall be known and cited as the Village of New Haven "Voter Enablement Ordinance."
This chapter is adopted pursuant to and in accordance with Michigan Public Act 3 of 1895 and all other laws allowing for ordinances by a local unit of government.
Editor's Note: See MCLA § 61.1 et seq.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BALLOT TITLE
- Brief, summarized language of either the proposed legislation being sought passed or of intent to repeal existing legislation, as relates to a submitted initiative or referendum; will be presented by a measure on electors' ballots, if petition process reaches that point. For purpose of this chapter, this term shall also include a measure's ballot language.
- BUSINESS DAY
- Any day that the Village's municipal office is operating and open to the public, and/or which clerical employees of the Village are expected to work.
- CERTIFIED PETITION
- A petition which has been determined by the Village Clerk to be in proper form, language has been deemed by the Village Attorney to be legally sufficient, required signatures (per § 110-4C of this chapter) have been obtained, a required amount of signatures have been verified as genuine by the Village Clerk or Village Clerk's designee, and which the Village Clerk has subsequently certified.
- CHIEF PETITIONER
- Formally declared person or persons responsible for the facilitation of a petition; responsible for ensuring the petition effort's adherence to regulations and for the pursuance of timely submission of required documentation as relates to the initiative or referendum process. Shall be the point of contact for correspondence with Village Clerk and other Village and county and township personnel as relates to the handling of the petition.
- A person, whether compensated or not, who seeks to garner signatures in support of a prospective initiative or referendum; may include chief petitioners.
- COMPLETED PETITION
- A petition which has been determined by the Village Clerk to be in proper form, language has been deemed by the Village Attorney to be legally sufficient, required signatures (per § 110-4C of this chapter) have been obtained but not yet verified as genuine, and which the petition has subsequently not yet been certified by the Village Clerk.
- A bonafide United States citizen and legally registered voter whose place of permanent domicile is within the Village limits as recorded on his or her record of voter registration.
- INITIATIVE PETITION
- A petition which proposes the adoption of accompanied newly drafted legislation.
- PRINCIPAL OFFICER
- Any person formally recorded, declared, or otherwise acknowledged by an organization as currently holding a position within that organization which is required by law or otherwise essential to the operations and continuation of the organization.
- PROSPECTIVE PETITION
- A petition which has been submitted to the Village Clerk, but for which required signatures have not yet been obtained and submitted for verification of genuineness.
- REFERENDUM PETITION
- A petition which proposes the repeal to existing legislation, as articulated in accompanied documentation.
- VILLAGE CLERK'S DESIGNEE
- A capable and competent employee or elected official of the Village of New Haven or Lenox Township whom the Village Clerk has granted permission to act on his or her behalf in order to reasonably carry out duties otherwise assigned to the Clerk for the purpose of petition processing and signature verification as relates to this chapter.
Village electors or Village Council may initiate or repeal legislation, by means of initiative or referendum, pursuant to the regulations set forth herein this chapter:
Submissions during business hours, prospective and completed, petitions. Petitions must be submitted to the Village Clerk or Village Clerk's designee in person at the Village office during regular business hours.
Manner of initiating or referring legislation.
Any elector may initiate proposed legislation by submitting a completed initiative petition proposing the legislation to the Village Clerk, in accordance to the regulations set forth within this chapter.
Any elector may refer existing legislation to the electors by submitting a completed referendum petition to the Village Clerk in accordance to the regulations set forth within this chapter.
The Council may initiate or refer proposed or existing legislation to the electors by majority vote at a regular or special Council meeting.
Requisite number of signatures, initiatives and referendums.
The number of signatures required for an initiative petition is 15%, and for a referendum petition 15%, of the number of votes cast for the office of Village President at the last preceding Village election date when circulation of the petition begins.
Prospective petitions, form and procedures.
An initiative petition or referendum petition shall be in the form prescribed by the Village Clerk and in compliance with township, county, and state requirements for such petition forms for municipality purposes, if any. Upon request of an elector, prospective petition forms (and add-on sheets, if applicable and necessary) shall be provided by the Village Clerk or Village Clerk's designee.
When a prospective petition is submitted to the Village Clerk, the Village Clerk shall, as soon as possible, determine whether the prospective petition is in the proper form, including but not limited to compliance with the requirements of § 110-4E(1) of this chapter; and
If the prospective petition is not in the proper form, return the prospective petition to the elector submitting it and advise that person what the defects are;
If the prospective petition is in the proper form:
Advise the elector submitting the prospective petition that the prospective petition is still subject to review and approval of the Village Attorney, pursuant to § 110-4G of this chapter, and of the time frame afforded to the Village Attorney for review.
Advise the person submitting the prospective petition of the number of elector signatures necessary to place the petition on the ballot, per § 110-4C of this chapter;
Specify the size and kind of paper on which the prospective petition is to be duplicated;
Date and time stamp the prospective petition; and
Initial all pages of the prospective petition.
Retain a copy of the date-stamped and initialed prospective petition for Village records.
Petition requirements, content and chronology. No completed petition, either initiative or referendum, may be submitted to the Village Clerk unless:
Prior to its circulation, a prospective petition was submitted to the Village Clerk, and ballot title issued by the Village Attorney. The prospective petition must be accompanied by a copy of the legislation sought to be passed or copy of the legislation sought to be repealed and contain a signed statement which includes the names and addresses of the prospective petition's chief petitioners. If one or more of the chief petitioners is an organization, the prospective petition shall disclose the name and address of the organization, the name and municipality-of-residence for each of the principal officers of the organization and the signature of the chief officer of the organization; the prospective petition shall include a statement signed by the chief petitioner(s) declaring whether one or more persons will be paid money or other valuable consideration for obtaining signatures on the initiative or referendum petition.
As circulated, the prospective petition complies with the Village Clerk's specifications and the requirements of this chapter, contains the ballot title or ordinance title, and contains the names and municipality-of-residence for each of the chief petitioners;
The date of the first signature on the petition is no later than 90 days after the issuance of the ballot title for the measure; and
The completed petition with accompanying signatures is submitted to the Village Clerk for signature verification no later than 120 days after the date of the first signature on the petition.
Petition requirements; signature sheets.
An initial copy of a signature sheet (and add-on sheets, if applicable and necessary) shall be given to chief petitioners by the Village Clerk or Village Clerk's designee upon request, and shall be in a form approved by the Village Clerk and in compliance with township, county, and state statutes and regulations as relate to the gathering of signatures for proposals, initiatives and referendums.
Signature sheets shall include a statement signed by the chief petitioner/s, stating whether or not anyone would be paid or offered compensation for gathering signatures.
Village Attorney; preparation of ballot title.
Within 10 business days following the Village Attorney's receipt of a prospective petition for an initiative or referendum measure, the Village Attorney shall review the prospective petition and accompanying proposed legislation language for legal sufficiency, and, if appropriate, issue a ballot title.
If the Village Attorney determines that the prospective petition and/or accompanying legislative language is legally insufficient, the Village Attorney shall inform the Village Clerk in writing of the reasons for that determination. The Village Clerk shall return the prospective petition to the chief petitioners within five business days, along with a copy of the Village Attorney's written determination.
If the Village Attorney determines that the prospective petition is legally sufficient, the Village Attorney shall prepare a ballot title and deliver it to the Village Clerk.
Within 10 business days following the Council's decision to submit legislation to the electors under § 110-4B(3) of this chapter, the Village Attorney shall prepare a ballot title and deliver it to the Village Clerk.
The ballot title of any measure to be initiated or referred shall comply with the state statutes in effect at the time the ballot title is prepared. The ballot title shall not resemble, to the extent it creates confusion, any ballot title previously prepared for a measure to be submitted to the electors at the same election.
Upon receiving a ballot title for a Village measure from the Village Attorney, the Village Clerk shall notify all chief petitioners of such ballot title within five business days, and inform them that they may file a petition-for-review of the ballot title not later than the date referred to in Subsection G(5) of this section. Signatures may now be gathered for the petition.
A chief petitioner dissatisfied with the ballot title may, within seven business days after it is delivered to the Village Clerk, petition the County Circuit Court seeking a different ballot title and stating the reasons that the title prepared by the Village Attorney is insufficient, not concise or unfair. The petition shall name the Village Attorney as respondent. The Court shall review the ballot title and measure to be initiated or referred, hear arguments, if any, and certify to the Village Clerk a ballot title for the measure which meets the requirements of state statutes in effect at the time the ballot title is prepared.
Verification of signatures; completed petition.
A completed petition, either initiative or referendum, shall be submitted to the Village Clerk for signature verification. The Village Clerk may not accept for signature verification any petition sheets that do not comply with the requirements contained in this chapter for signature sheets. Within 10 business days of submission of a completed initiative or referendum petition for signature verification, the Village Clerk or the Village Clerk's designee or Macomb County official or Macomb County official's designee shall, by reference to the records held by the Michigan Secretary of State or otherwise by the Macomb County Elections Department or otherwise by Lenox Township, verify the number and genuineness of the signatures and the voting qualifications of the signers; and, if electors in a number sufficient under § 110-4C of this chapter have signed the petition, the Village Clerk shall so certify the petition. If the Village Clerk determines that the petition contains an insufficient number of elector signatures, the petition shall be returned to the chief petitioners with explanation as to the nature of the deficiencies. If time is still remaining as per § 110-4E(4), chief petitioners shall be allowed to continue gathering required signatures and resubmit them within the original time frame.
Presentation of measure to Council; certified petition.
No later than 31 days after the Village Clerk certifies a completed initiative or referendum petition, the Village President shall present the petition to the Council for consideration. At that time, or thereafter, the Council shall do one of the following:
Adopt an ordinance proposed by an initiative petition;
Repeal an ordinance referred by referendum petition;
Choose to take no stance on the initiated or referred petition, but merely motion and approve the petition to go to ballot measure.
In addition to motioning and approving such initiated or referred petition to go to ballot measure, pass a resolution expressing Council's stance on the matter. Such resolution shall be considered as advisory in nature only, and shall not be construed as action on such petition or subsequent ballot measure.
During the ninety-day period prior to an election on an initiative or referendum measure the Council shall refrain from adopting an ordinance proposed by an initiative petition or repealing an ordinance referred by a referendum petition.
Ballot voting on measure.
Initiative or referendum.
Ordinances proposed by certified initiative petition but not adopted in accordance with § 110-4I(1)(a) of this chapter, and ordinances referred by certified referendum petition but not repealed in accordance with § 110-4I(1)(b) of this chapter, and also any legislation initiated or referred to ballot via § 110-4B(3) of this chapter, shall be submitted to the electors through ballot measure. Costs incurred for such process shall be paid for out of the Village's general fund.
The date for voting on certified initiative and referendum measures submitted to the electors under Subsection J(1)(a) of this section shall be:
The next available primary or general election compatible with township, county, and state filing deadlines for local proposals, after the Village President's presentation of the certified initiative or referendum petition to Council under § 110-4I of this chapter for measures brought forth via certified petitions.
Furnishing information to County Clerk; timely submission of ballot title. As is necessary and/or is required by township, county, or state officials for timely processing and preparation of ballots and appropriate voting material in a time frame consistent with the timelines set forth herein this chapter, the Village Clerk shall submit to the County Elections Department and/or other appropriate government entity/s, a certified copy of the ballot title, with accompanying documentation of the certified petition and this chapter, if requested.
Ballot measures; appearance by ballot title only. Legislation submitted to electors via this Village code shall appear on the ballot by ballot title only. Initiative measures shall be distinguished from referendum measures.
Public notice of election. The Village Clerk shall give no less than 14 days' notice of an initiative or referendum election by one publication of the notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the Village. The notice need not set forth in full any measure to be submitted to the electors at the election, but the notice shall state the ballot title of each measure, and the date of the polling.
Vote tabulation. The votes on a measure shall be counted in the same manner as other votes cast at such an election for the Village, or in the same manner as other votes would be counted for other Village elections, as prescribed by state statute and township and county regulations.
Election results; proclamation by president.
Upon completion of the canvass of votes on a measure submitted pursuant to this chapter, the Village President shall issue a proclamation during the next regular Council meeting:
The Village Clerk shall give public notice of the proclamation by release to the media and/or by posting a copy thereof at the Village hall.
The proclamation shall be retained with the measure and polling results in the office of the Village Clerk.
Effective date of measure; passed ballot measures. A measure which has been approved by a majority of the electors who voted on the measure takes effect upon the President's proclamation that the measure has passed, or at a later date, if specified in the measure or otherwise dictated by state statute.
Unlawful acts; petitioning process.
No person other than an elector of the Village of New Haven shall knowingly sign a Village initiative or referendum petition.
No person shall sign a Village initiative or referendum petition with a name not his or her own.
No person shall sign his or her name to a Village initiative or referendum petition with knowledge of previously signing the petition.
No person shall procure or attempt to procure a signature to a Village initiative or referendum petition by fraud.
No person shall circulate or submit to the Village Clerk a Village initiative or referendum petition which to his or her knowledge contains a signature signed in violation of this chapter.
No person shall make a statement concerning a Village initiative or referendum petition that the person knows to be false.
No Village officer shall willfully violate a provision of this chapter.
All ordinances, resolutions, or parts thereof in conflict with the provisions of this chapter are, to the extent of such conflict, repealed.
Should any section, subsection, or provision of this chapter be declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, that decision shall not affect the validity of the chapter as a whole or any part thereof, other than the part so declared to be invalid.