TO: MAYOR WYTHE AND HOMER CITY COUNCIL
FROM: JO JOHNSON, MMC, CITY CLERK
DATE: FEBRUARY 4, 2014
SUBJECT: CHARTER COMMISSION ELECTION PETITION
Pursuant to AS §29.10.010(e), I am submitting this report on the charter commission election petition. The petition for a Charter Commission Election was submitted timely on January 27, 2014 by sponsor Ken Castner. In all, 15 petition booklets were received. Of the 15 petition booklets, 14 were sufficient and one was blank. The number of names on the sufficient booklets totaled 224.
A current list of registered voters within city limits was requested and received by the Clerk’s office on January 24, 2014. Deputy City Clerk Jacobsen reviewed the 224 names on the petition and determined that: 28 signatures were insufficient because the name was not listed on the current voter roll, the name was illegible, a signature was not included, or the person signed the petition more than once. It was determined 196 of the signatures were valid signatures of registered voters within the city limits.
Pursuant to AS §29.10.010(e), the petition must bear a number of voter signatures equal to 15 percent of the number of votes cast at the October 1, 2013 regular City election, which is 185. I find the petition for a Charter Commission Election bears sufficient signatures, and therefore have certified the petition.
Alaska Statutes do not provide guidance as to when the charter commission election should be held, however, Council may choose to be guided by the provisions for scheduling an initiative or referendum election. An initiative or referendum is submitted to the voters at any of the following occurring at least 60 days after certification of the petition: (i) the next regular election; (ii) a previously scheduled special election; or (iii) a special election scheduled by ordinance if the Council determines it to be in the best interest of the City and no other election will occur within 75 days after certification of the petition.
Since there presently is no special election scheduled in the City, the Council has two options: place the question on the ballot at the October 7, 2014 regular City election, or call an earlier special election.
Once the Council has determined when to hold the election, it will fix the date for submission of charter commission candidate nomination petitions to the City Clerk. The submission date should allow enough time for the Clerk to give the required 20-day election notice after the candidates for charter commission have been determined.
Assuming the charter commission election will be held on the regular election date in October, I suggest the candidacy filing period for the charter commissioners open on May 1 and close on July 15, 2014.
Determine when the election for a charter commission shall be held and schedule the candidacy filing period.