A funny thing happened on the way to get signatures.
Many long time Payson residents may recall the YMCA deal. That was challenged in part based on deed restrictions. From what I understand an initiative, just like this one, was started.
To understand that process, it is important to understand where that “right” comes from. Article IV of the Arizona Constitution reads as follows:
Part 1, Section 1
(7) Number of qualified electors. The whole number of votes cast for all candidates for governor at the general election last preceding the filing of any initiative or referendum petition on a state or county measure shall be the basis on which the number of qualified electors required to sign such petition shall be computed.
(8) Local, city, town or county matters. The powers of the initiative and the referendum are hereby further reserved to the qualified electors of every incorporated city, town, and county as to all local, city, town, or county matters on which such incorporated cities, towns, and counties are or shall be empowered by general laws to legislate. Such incorporated cities, towns, and counties may prescribe the manner of exercising said powers within the restrictions of general laws. Under the power of the initiative fifteen per centum of the qualified electors may propose measures on such local, city, town, or county matters, and ten per centum of the electors may propose the referendum on legislation enacted within and by such city, town, or county. Until provided by general law, said cities and towns may prescribe the basis on which said percentages shall be computed.
Generally that would mean that the bar is set at 15% of “qualified electors.” It appears the basis to establish “qualified electors” would be the last Mayoral election? That election appears to have had 4,394 votes or “qualified electors?” So, about 650 signatures or so? Looks like long ago, (After the YMCA deal?) the Town of Payson Town Council changed that threshold.
The Payson Town code was modified to be more stringent than the Arizona Constitution on “initiative measures.” Specifically, the Town requires a 15% threshold of “registered voters,” as opposed to a 15% threshold of “qualified electors.” It seems odd that the Town can be more restrictive than the State when it comes to this basic voting method / right of the citizens?
By using “registered voters” instead of “qualified electors” to place an intuitive on the ballot it works out to be about a 30% threshold of “qualified electors.” I suspect some of the “registered voters” are now dead or moved on?
The Town code reads as follows:
30.66 NUMBER OF SIGNATURES.
(A) Initiative. The total number of registered voters qualified to vote at the last municipal election, whether regular or special, immediately preceding the date upon which any initiative petition is filed shall be the basis upon which the number of qualified electors of the town required to file an initiative petition shall be computed.
(B) Referendum. The basis upon which the number of qualified electors of the town required to file a referendum petition shall be as determined by state law.
(`82 Code, § 2-6-2) (Ord. 386, passed 1-14-93; Am. Ord. 839, passed 10-17-13)
Initiative and referendum petitions in cities, towns and counties, see A.R.S. §§ 19-141 to 19-143
So, the Town wants and needs your money, just not your input on the issues.
Not partisan, just the facts.
Your money, your land, your VOTE!
Sign the petitions!