[HISTORY: Adopted by the City of Bangor 11-6-1990 by Referendum, Ord. No. 89-395 (Ch. I, Art. 10). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Any proposed ordinance, order or resolve dealing with legislative matters or municipal affairs, except as provided hereunder, on the written petition of a number of voters equal to at least 20% of the number of votes cast in the City of Bangor at the last gubernatorial election, within 10 days after any such ordinance, order or resolve has been enacted by the City Council, may be submitted to the voters in accordance with the procedures established under this chapter. The right of initiative or referendum provided herein shall not apply to ordinances, orders or resolves providing for the appropriation of money, the municipal budget, the levy of taxes or the wages or hours of city employees.
Any 10 registered voters of the City of Bangor may file with the City Clerk an affidavit stating:
Promptly after the affidavit is filed, the Clerk shall file a copy with the City Solicitor. Within 10 calendar days thereafter, the City Solicitor shall issue an opinion to the Clerk and to the Petitioners' Committee as to the validity of the initiative proposal or referendum under the Bangor City Charter and the Constitutions and laws of the United States and the State of Maine. Said opinion shall not be binding upon the petitioners and shall include reasons for the conclusions reached and possible remedies if the Solicitor concludes the initiative proposal or referendum to be invalid. Promptly after the opinion is received, the Clerk shall issue petition blanks to the Committee and any other registered voters who may wish to circulate them.
The City Clerk shall prepare the petition forms at the city's expense. The petition forms shall be printed on paper of uniform size and may consist of as many individual sheets as are reasonably necessary.
The petition forms shall carry the following legend in bold lettering at the top of each form on the face thereof:
Each signature to a petition must be in ink or other indelible instrument and must be followed by the place of residence of the voter, with street and number, if any.
The City Clerk shall note the date each petition form is issued. All petitions must be filed within 30 business days after the date of the original issuance of the petition forms. Any petitions filed after said 30 business days shall be void.
Each petition form shall have printed on its back an affidavit to be executed by the circulator stating:
That the circulator personally circulated the form;
The number of signatures on the form;
That all the signatures were signed in the circulator's presence;
That the circulator believes them to be genuine signatures of the persons whose names they purport to be;
That each signer has signed no more than one petition; and
That each signer had an opportunity to read the petition before signing.
The petition forms may be filed at any time within said thirty-business-day period with the City Clerk. The Clerk shall note the date of filing on each form.
[Amended 9-14-1998 by Ord. No. 98-339]
At the end of said thirty-business-day period, and within 20 calendar days thereafter, the City Clerk shall complete a certificate as to the petition's sufficiency, specifying, if it is insufficient, the particulars which render it defective. The Clerk shall promptly send a copy of the certificate to the Petitioners' Committee by mail and shall file a copy with the City Council.
A petition certified insufficient for lack of the required number of valid signatures may be amended once, if all petitions filed contain a total equal to the number of signatures required under § 18-1 of this chapter and if the Petitioners' Committee files a notice of intention to amend it with the Clerk within two days after receiving the copy of the Clerk's certificate. Within 10 days after this notice of intention is filed, the Committee may file a supplementary petition to correct the deficiencies in the original. Such supplementary petition, in form and content, must comply with the requirements for an original petition under § 18-3.
Within five days after a supplementary petition is filed, the Clerk shall complete and file a certificate as to its sufficiency in the manner provided for in an original petition.
When an original or supplementary petition has been certified insufficient, the Committee, within two days after receiving the copy of the Clerk's certificate, may file a request with the City Council for review.
The City Council shall inspect the petitions in substantially the same form, manner and time as an election recount hearing and shall make due certificate of that inspection. The City Council shall file a copy of that certificate with the City Clerk and mail a copy to the Committee. The certificate of the City Council is a final determination of the sufficiency of the petitions.
Any petition finally determined to be insufficient is void. The Clerk shall stamp the petition void and seal and retain it in the manner required for secret ballots.
The following procedure shall be followed upon receipt of a petition certified to be sufficient:
Within 10 days of receipt of a report that a petition is sufficient, the City Council shall by order provide for a public hearing on the question proposed in the petition. Notice of the hearing shall be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the City of Bangor at least seven days prior to the hearing and shall contain the text of the item and a brief explanation thereof. The hearing shall be conducted by the City Council.
Within seven days after the public hearing, the City Council shall file with the Municipal Clerk a report containing the proposed question and a written opinion by an attorney admitted to the bar of this state as to whether the proposal contains any provision prohibited by the Bangor City Charter, the general laws, the United States Constitution or the Constitution of Maine.
Whenever there has been originated as aforesaid a petition for the reference to the people of any such ordinance, order or resolve passed by the City Council and the required number of valid signatures have been obtained, the same shall be suspended from going into operation from the date of said public hearing until it has been submitted to a vote of the people. Within 10 days after the completion of said public hearing, the Council shall set a date for the holding of a special election at which the proposed or suspended ordinance, order or resolve shall be submitted to the voters of the city, which special election shall not be held less than 60 days after said public hearing. The Council, in its discretion, may submit the matter at the next regular municipal election held not less than 60 days after said public hearing. Prior to the date of said election, all proceedings under said petitions shall terminate in the event of either of the following:
The method of voting at municipal elections under this chapter shall be in the same manner otherwise prescribed for municipal elections by law. The ballots used when voting on such proposed ordinance, order or resolve shall set forth the title thereof in full and state its general nature and shall contain the words "For the ordinance, order or resolve" and "Against the ordinance, order or resolve."
Voter information. A copy of the petition for any proposed ordinance, order or resolve submitted pursuant to this chapter shall be posted in the City Clerk's office at least two weeks prior to the date of the election.
Whenever any ordinance, order or resolve is required by the provisions of this chapter to be submitted to the voters of the city at an election, the City Council must order one publication of the complete text to to be made in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Bangor, such publication to be made no less than 10 days nor more than 15 days prior to the election.
Any number of proposed or referred ordinances, orders or resolves may be voted upon at the same election. In the event that two or more ordinances, orders or resolves adopted at the same election shall contain conflicting provisions, the ordinance, order or resolve receiving the highest number of votes at such election shall be paramount, and all question of construction shall be determined accordingly.
In the event that two or more ordinances, orders or resolves are submitted at the same election, they shall be placed upon the ballot in order of the priority of the filing of the respective petitions and shall be given precedence upon the ballot over any and all questions submitted by the City Council on its own initiative.
The City Council may submit, on its own initiative, a proposition for the enactment, repeal or amendment of any ordinance, order or resolve, except as herein otherwise provided, to be voted upon at any municipal election, and should such proposition receive a majority of the votes cast thereon at such election, such ordinance, order or resolve shall be enacted, repealed or amended accordingly.
If a majority of the voters voting on said proposed ordinance, order or resolve or said referred ordinance, order or resolve shall vote in favor thereof, such ordinance, order or resolve shall take effect five days after the declaration of the official canvass of the return of said election.
No ordinance, order or resolve proposed by petition and adopted by vote of the electors shall be subject to amendment or repeal by the City Council for a period of three years from the date of enactment without ratification by the voters.