Kaysville attorney: Ballot initiative petitions are lacking

Mar 12 2011 - 11:12pm

KAYSVILLE -- The Kaysville city attorney has denied three ballot initiative petitions submitted by a citizens group this week, saying the application does not meet the requirements of state law.

The legal opinion was drafted Friday by City Attorney Felshaw King.

The applications do not meet the requirements of Title 20, Chapter 7, part 5, of Utah law, and therefore are deficient and should not be approved, King said.

The applications will be sent back to the group known as Kaysville Citizens for Responsible Government to make the needed changes in the petition language to meet state law.

The petitions seek to change the city's form of government from a city manager form to strong mayor form; to district five of the six council positions; and establish a public service commission to oversee how revenue from the city's electric company is being used.

With the Friday denial, the clock continues to tick on the Kaysville citizens group, which submitted the petition initiatives to the city early Wednesday afternoon.

To place the initiatives on November's ballot, the group will need 1,177 valid signatures on the petitions by the close of business April 15, said Davis County election officials.

Orwin Draney, a member of the Kaysville Citizens group, said he would go to City Hall and pick up the application to determine what it is lacking.

"Then we will go back and hit it again," he said about resubmitting the application.

Having the city deny the application certainly tightens the time frame on the group to get the needed signatures to place it on the November ballot, said the 74-year-old Draney, but the group, after an emergency meeting this weekend, will try again.

"I don't think we are going to give up that easy with this. There are some things that need to be done, so we will continue," he said.

In a conversation with a city official Thursday afternoon, Draney said he was informed the petitions had been forwarded to King and the city's intent was to make a decision sometime Friday or early Monday.

Before submitting the petitions, Draney said, his group had them reviewed by an attorney.

"It has been gone over and gone over. I don't know that there is anything there that does not meet the requirements. They have been prepared as directed in the state law," said Draney, whose group had been hoping to begin circulating the petitions this weekend.

The required number of certified signatures is based on a formula that takes into account the total number of votes cast in all Kaysville precincts for all candidates who ran for governor in the November governor's race.

Davis County Election Coordinator Pat Beckstead said the Davis County Clerk/Auditor's Office will have 30 days to validate signatures once petitions are submitted.

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