One would expect it to be easier for us to petition the City Council than to amend the City Charter, but it’s not. The State regulates the City Charter and requires a minimum 5% of all registered voters to sign a petition in order to initiate an amendment to the City Charter. Our City Charter, on the other hand, requires 25% in order to petition for an initiative, referendum or recall. Based on 12,000 registered voters, to petition our City Council requires at least 3,000 signatures, but to amend the Charter itself, only 600.
Citizens rule is the ability to petition the Government to call for an election and give the voters the right to initiate desired legislation, or to stop poor legislation. But requiring 25% participation up front places an undo burden on the public, blocking the process before it begins. Without the ability to petition our City Council, we cannot hold them to account, they are free do vote anyway they choose and there is nothing we can do about it. We might vote them out when their term is up, but the damage they caused will remain.
This is not good, but it can be remedied without too much trouble. If you are interested and would like to see this corrected, I’m at your service and eager to help. Call or Text (210) 427-1154