KAYSVILLE — There appears to be some confusion as to when Kaysville city’s new ordinance, Proposition 5, becomes law.
The Kaysville City Council at its Nov. 12 meeting canvassed andofficially adopted the election results from the Nov. 5 municipal election, including the votes cast for and against Proposition 5.
The proposition, restricting how city leaders can spend Kaysville Power Department revenues for anything other than to maintain or operate the city-owned electric company, without notifying rate payers, was approved by 56 percent of the voters.
According to Utah’s Title 20 Election Code, Chapter 7, sections 510 and 511, as soon as the election is declared final by the city recorder, the proposition becomes law, said Margaret Brough, one of many citizens who pushed for the proposition through a signature petition referendum.
“The city council should have declared the proposition law (Tuesday, Nov. 12),” Brough said. She said she suspects the council’s inaction is a “delaying tactic,” where $5.3 million in revenue listed as an enterprise fund asset was to be coming to the city Nov. 15 as a result of a land sale.
If the council had declared the proposition in effect Tuesday, Nov. 12, it could not use the money from the land sale for any purpose other than the power fund where it had been listed as an asset, Brough claimed.
But according to City Manager John Thacker, Brough is incorrect on two points.
“In the canvass, the council did as they were supposed to,” Thacker said. They approved the canvass of the election results as stipulated by law, the same state code that indicates the proposition is to become in effect five days following the date of the canvass, or in this case, Monday, Nov. 18, he said.
“The council did as the law specifies. The law went into effect according to statute,” Thacker said.
Regarding the city property sale Brough referenced, Thacker said there is a purchase agreement in place between the city and a potential buyer, with the agreement giving both parties until Dec. 28 to finalize the deal.
“There seems to a misunderstanding of when the Prop 5 effective date will be,” said Art Morley, who organized the citizens group pushing for the proposition.
“According to the state law, the effective date is five days following certification of the election, which took place (Tuesday) night,” Morley said. The citizens group did not include an effective date when writing the Prop 5 initiative, Morley said, therefore, what action and comments Mayor Steve Hiatt and the city council performed and shared Tuesday were correct.
“In addition, the mayor and I have visited concerning the final writing of the ordinance and will be meeting in the near future with the other sponsors of the initiative,” Morley said. “Proposition 5 is not complete with the current language alone.”
State code 20A-7-511 says, “If the initiative petition does not specify an effective date, a law approved by the voters at any election takes effect five days after the date of the official proclamation of the vote by the county legislative body.”
Brough said had city leaders tried to delay the adoption of the proposition in order to move forward with the land sale, she would have considered filing an injunction against the city.
The proposition states: “All revenues of Kaysville Power Department and/or the Power Fund shall properly be restricted solely to the direct operations of the Kaysville Power Department and not used for any other purpose. The Kaysville Power Department shall maintain an emergency fund as established by the governing body. All revenues above operation expenditures and the emergency fund shall be redistributed on an annual basis to the customers of the Kaysville Power Department based on their proportionate use per annum.”