NORTH OGDEN -- Two residents seeking city council seats delivered just shy of 3,000 signatures to the city late Friday afternoon, petitioning the city council to put the issue of revenue bond parameters on the ballot this November.
Bond proceeds would go to build a new public works facilty.
The question now is whether procedures were followed correctly to get the measure on the ballot.
Justin Fawson and Kent Bailey delivered the petitions that reached voters in all districts in the city. The petition drive started about a week after the city council voted 4-1 to approve bond parameters for up to $10 million to spend on the public works complex. The complex will not cost $10 million, but that is the ceiling amount suggested by the city's bond counsel to be safe, said city Finance Director Debbie Cardenas.
City Councilman Wade Bigler and Fawson co-sponsored the petition drive because they felt the city was planning to spend too much money on the complex and that the bond parameters gave city leaders a blank check to spend what they wanted.
Bigler feels confident the vote on the revenue bonds will be on the November ballot.
Cardenas said the petition information will be given to the city's attorney, Dave Carlson, this morning.
"We don't know the legal weight the petition has," said Mayor Richard Harris.
According to Weber County Elections Administrator Doug Larsen, in order to put an initiative on the ballot through Weber County this November, all the signatures would have had to be gathered by April 15.
Larsen said it takes that long for the county to verify the validty of each signature.
"I don't know if the signatures are on a piece of paper or an official petition from the lieutenant governor's office," Larsen said.
Larsen was aware of the petition drive going on in the city and had discussed the process with City Recorder Annette Spendlove.
But Bigler said the residents who are working with the petition are not going through the county and everything was going to be run through the city.
"With bonds it's all different," Bigler said.
Larsen did say that bonding procedures are different, but it was usually along the lines of a general obligation bond, not a revenue bond issue, which is what is at stake with the bonds the city would like to issue.
The revenue bonds will be tied to the city's monthly utility rates, not a bond residents vote to repay on their taxes.
Bigler said his understanding is that the wording on the ballot would mirror the wording the council voted on July 12 regarding the bond parameters. If residents are able to vote on the measure in November and vote against the bond, the city council can set new bond parameters, Cardenas said.
"This is going to go through," Bigler said of getting the issue on the ballot. "We have done everything the way it is supposed to be done."
Larsen did say that if the city chooses to put a measure on the ballot, it can, and it doesn't have to go through the county.
Both Cardenas and Harris are waiting for Carlson's opinion on the matter.
If the issue goes on the ballot it will put a halt on anything more going forward with the issuance of bonds until after the November election.