Article XIII - Initiative and Referendum

13.1 Initiative and Referendum
(a) Any initiated measure shall be in the form of an ordinance, which shall be legislative in character.

(b) An initiated ordinance may be submitted to the City Council by filing a petition with the City Clerk. The petition shall be signed by registered electors of the City in a number at least equal to five percent of the total number of registered electors of the City on the date of the last regular municipal election.

(c) If the petition is found to be sufficient upon examination by the City Clerk, the City Clerk shall present the petition to the City Council at the first regular meeting held more than thirty days after the date the petition was filed or at a special meeting held on the first Monday more than thirty days after the date the petition was filed.

(d) Within thirty days after the petition is presented by the City Clerk, the City Council shall either adopt the initiated ordinance by a majority vote of all members of City Council without any change to the initiated ordinance or submit the initiated ordinance to a vote of the registered electors of the City at a special election to be held within ninety days, but not less than thirty days, after the petition is presented to the City Council; or at any regular municipal election to be held not more than ninety days after presentation of the petition to the City Council.

(e) The initiated ordinance shall be published in full not less than ten days prior to the election. The ballot shall have printed on it the ordinance title and submission clause, and on separate lines under the submission clause, the words, "FOR THE ORDINANCE" and "AGAINST THE ORDINANCE".

(f) If a majority of the registered electors voting vote "for" the ordinance, it shall be adopted and take effect upon certification of the election results, or at such later date as may be set forth in the ordinance.

(g) In the event that initiated ordinances containing conflicting provisions are approved at the same election, the initiated ordinance receiving the greatest number of votes shall prevail to the extent of the conflict. (Amended November 2, 1999.)



13.2 Referendum Procedures
(a) All ordinances adopted by the City Council that are legislative in character shall be subject to referendum. Any ordinance necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety; fixing the rate of general property taxation for any year; related to the issuance of securities; adopting the budget; making an appropriation for the ensuing fiscal year; calling for a special election; levying special assessments, or initiating improvement districts shall not be subject to referendum.

(b) If a petition calling for a referendum of an ordinance is signed by registered electors of the City in a number at least equal to three percent of the total number of registered electors of the City on the date of the last regular municipal election, such petition may be submitted to the City Council by filing it with the City Clerk. A referendum petition shall be filed with the City Clerk prior to the effective date of an ordinance as provided in Section 7.4 (b) and (c) of this Charter.

(c) If the petition is found to be sufficient upon examination by the City Clerk, the City Clerk shall present the petition to the City Council at the first regular meeting held more than thirty days after the date the petition was filed or at a special meeting held on the first Monday more than thirty days after the date the petition was filed.

(d) Upon presentation to the City Council of such petition by the City Clerk, the ordinance shall be suspended from operation.

(e) The City Council shall upon presentation of the referendum petition immediately reconsider the ordinance. If upon reconsideration the ordinance is not repealed in its entirety by a majority of all members of City Council, the ordinance shall be submitted, without amendment or alteration, to a vote of the registered electors at a special election to be held within ninety days, but not less than thirty days, after presentation of the referendum petition to the City Council; or at a regular municipal election held within the ninety-day period.

(f) A referred ordinance shall be published in full not less than ten days prior to the date of the election. The ballot for the referred ordinance shall have printed on it the ordinance title and submission clause and on separate lines under the submission clause the words, "FOR THE ORDINANCE" and "AGAINST THE ORDINANCE". If a majority of the registered electors voting vote "for" the ordinance, it shall be effective upon certification of the election results. If a majority of the registered electors voting vote "against" the ordinance, the ordinance shall be repealed upon certification of the election results. (Amended November 2, 1999.)


13.3 Prohibited Action by City Council
(a) No initiated ordinance adopted by the registered electors of the City may be amended or repealed by the City Council during a period of six months after the date of the election on the initiated ordinance.

(b) No referred ordinance repealed by the registered electors of the City may be subsequently adopted by the City Council during a period of six months after the date of the election on the referred ordinance.

13.4 Referral by the City Council
The City Council shall have the power to submit any proposed or adopted ordinance or any question to a vote of the registered electors of the City without receipt of a petition.

13.5 Supplementary Provisions
The City Council may adopt by ordinance, and consistent with the provisions of this article, supplementary provisions for initiative and referendum, including but not limited to provisions for the form and content of petitions; the requirements for circulation, signing, and submission of petitions; the method for preparing an ordinance title and submission clause for a ballot, and the requirements for examination and certification of petitions by the City Clerk. Should any provision of this article be judicially declared invalid, the City Council may adopt ordinances further supplementing this article.