KAYSVILLE -- More than 2,750 signatures should provide a Kaysville citizen's group with the "cushion" they need to get their initiative on the Nov. 5 municipal ballot.
The initiative, to restrict the way city leaders spend power rate revenues, requires 1,609 certified signatures for it to appear on the ballot.
The citizen's group on Monday presented the last of its signature petition packets to the Davis County Clerk's election office, with the petitions containing "more than 2,750 signatures," said Art Morley, spokesman for the citizen's group.
"The target has always been 10 percent more than 1,609," Morley said of the extra signatures collected to compensate for any "slippage" the group may experience as a result of some signatures being invalid.
The county has until May 15 to certify the signatures as valid -- meaning those belonging to registered voters in Kaysville city, said Brian McKenzie, Davis County election official.
For the initiative to be put before voters, 1,609 certified signatures are needed. That number based on a formula derived from how many ballots were cast in the 2012 presidential election.
Based on the success the group had in collecting signatures, Morley is optimistic that they will exceed the number of certified signatures required.
"We're in good shape. It's a good cushion," he said.
"It was face to face, one signature at a time," said Morley, whose group ran into few outright rejections during it door-to-door campaign over the past month.
The number of residents signing the petition, Morley said, sends a message to city leaders that residents are interested in seeing a change in how power rate revenues are expended.
The initiative, if approved, would prevent city leaders from using the city's power company revenues for such things as buying property for future development or hiring personnel.
The action by the citizen's group follows a 9.65 percent increase in power rates put in place by the city in 2012 to build up reserves.
"I'm not surprised by the number of signatures they were able to collect. I think there are many folks in support of the initiative. I think there are many folks who thought it was fair to place it on the ballot," Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt said. "The big benefit with the petition moving forward is that we can let the debate begin and do away with innuendo and hearsay, and get down to the facts."
One of the facts is that the fiscal impact to the city would be equivalent to a 33.34 percent property tax increase should the initiative pass, he said.
Hiatt said such a tax increase would create "uneasiness" among residentsand he is adamantly opposed to such a property tax increase.
If the initiative appears on the ballot, officials said, the city will be required by law to provide a voter information pamphlet sharing contrasting views on the issue.
"If they get the right (number) of signatures, that is just fine," Kaysville City Manager John Thacker said.
In gathering signatures, Morley said, his group found success despite having to battle weather and having to work around the weekends of Easter and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints General Conference.
Helping compensate for those challenges was the local media coverage the initiative effort received and the group's preparation to be able to register voters at the door, he said.
"We didn't enter into it with any doubt," Morley said of the effort.