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2.52.090 Sufficiency of petitions-Initiative

A. No petition for initiative shall be filed with the City Clerk unless it contains the required number of signatures. Upon filing of a petition for initiative with the City Clerk, the City Clerk shall make an initial determination of sufficiency and report the results thereof to the City Council within twenty days of the date of such filing, with a final determination of sufficiency and report to City Council to be made within thirty days following the filing. The City Clerk's determination of sufficiency shall be based upon a review of the petition to find whether signatures of individuals are insufficient in the following categories:
1. Address shown by signer not located within the city limits of the City of Lakewood;
2. Any signature appearing on the petition more than once, in which event all signatures of said individual shall be deleted except one;
3. More than one individual signature on a signature line, in which event the line shall count as one;
4. Signature lines containing incomplete information or information which was not completed by the elector or a person qualified to assist the elector shall not be counted;
5. Signatures of individuals who are not registered electors in the city.
B. The petition may not be removed and no signature may be removed or deleted by a signer, circulator, or representative of the City Clerk until the City Clerk has made an initial sufficiency determination. Any request to remove a signature shall be made in writing to the City Clerk. A signature may only be removed between the initial and final sufficiency determination by the City Clerk.
C. After the City Clerk has completed the final sufficiency review of the petitions, the following procedures shall apply:
1. For initiative petitions found to contain an insufficient number of valid signatures, and against which no protest has been filed, the City Clerk shall mail a written notice of insufficiency, summarizing the grounds for the decision, to the representatives of the petitioners. The decision of the City Clerk concerning insufficiency shall be a final decision from which an appeal may be made to the District Court of Jefferson County.
2. For initiative petitions found insufficient, and against which a protest has been filed, the provisions of subsection (D) of this section shall apply.
3. For initiative petitions found sufficient, and against which no protest has been filed, the provisions of Section 2.52.110 shall apply.
4. For initiative petitions found sufficient, but against which a protest has been filed, the provisions of subsection (D) of this section shall apply.
D. A protest to an initiative petition may be filed in the office of the City Clerk by any registered elector of the city within thirty days after the petition is filed with the City Clerk. The protest shall set forth with particularity the grounds of such protest and the names protested. The City Clerk shall mail a copy of such protest to the petition representative, together with a notice fixing a time for hearing such protest not less than five nor more than twenty days after such notice is mailed.
E. All records and hearings shall be public under this section and all testimony shall be under oath, and the City Clerk with whom such petition is filed shall have the power to issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents. Upon failure of any witness to obey the subpoena, the City Clerk may petition the District Court of Jefferson County and upon proper showing the court may enter an order compelling the witness to appear and testify or produce documentary evidence. Failure to obey the order of the court is punishable as a contempt of court. At any hearing held pursuant to this section, the party protesting the finding of the City Clerk concerning the sufficiency of signatures shall have the burden of proof. Hearings before the City Clerk shall be had as soon as is conveniently possible. The result of such hearings shall be certified to the petition representatives and the protester.
F. The decision of the City Clerk is final. Any appeal of the decision shall be to Jefferson County District Court. (Ord. O-2004-21 § 5, 2004; Ord. O-94-3 § 1 (part), 1994).