Article IV. Initiative, Referendum And Recall  


ARTICLE IV. INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM AND RECALL

Section 1. Power of Initiative. The people of the City shall have the power of direct legislation by initiative, and in the exercise of such power may propose any ordinance which is not in conflict with the laws of the State or the provisions of this Charter, except an ordinance concerned with the appropriation of money or the levy of taxes.

Section 2. Power of Referendum. The people of the City shall have the power to approve or reject in a referendum election any legislation, or portion of legislation, that has been enacted by the Council and that would be subject to the initiative process, excepting that an ordinance authorizing the issuance of tax or revenue bonds that has been approved by the voters in an election duly held for that purpose shall not be subjected to such referendum and provided further, that no election shall be called on the issue of casino gaming, unless casino gaming is first made legal under state law. This provision shall apply notwithstanding any other provision in this Charter.

Section 3. Requirements of Petition for Initiative or Referendum. Petitions to initiate proposed legislation not in conflict with existing State or federal law or for a referendum on legislation that has been enacted by the Council shall be signed by qualified voters of the City equal in number to at least ten (10) percent of all the qualified voters in the City. The petition to initiate legislation shall contain the full text of the proposed ordinance, which must be written by a licensed Texas attorney who must file the original copy of the proposed legislation with the City Attorney at least ten (10) days prior to the commencement of circulation or signing of the initiative petition, and the petition for a referendum shall contain at least the full descriptive caption of the ordinance on which a referendum is asked and the date of its enactment by the Council. Any petition for initiative or referendum must be presented to the Council, with the minimum number of signatures as required by this Charter, within one hundred twenty (120) days after any petition is first distributed to be signed. No signature to a petition shall be counted unless it is followed by the printed name of the signer, the printed street address of the signer, the signer's current voter registration number as shown on the voter's registration certificate, the date the voter signed the petition, and the petition must also comply with any additional requirements prescribed by applicable State law. It shall not be necessary that a voter's registration number be in the signer's own handwriting. At the end of the petition there shall be a verification made by the person who has circulated the petition, sworn to before a Notary Public, that each signature appearing is the genuine signature of the person whose name purports to be signed to the petition, and was made in the presence of the person so verifying.

A petition to initiate legislation or for a referendum may consist of a number of separate petitions, which shall be counted together to determine the number of voters who have signed the petition, but each separate petition shall in that case fulfill all of the requirements as to form and verification.

Section 4. Suspension of Legislation Enacted by Council; Time for Filing Petitions. A petition to initiate proposed legislation may be submitted at any time excepting only that no ordinance shall be proposed by an initiative petition that is on the same subject as an ordinance so submitted and defeated at an election held within one year prior thereto. A petition for a referendum on legislation that has been enacted by the Council may be filed prior to or within thirty (30) days after the effective date thereof asking that such legislation either be repealed or submitted to the vote of the people. When such a petition has been received and is certified to be sufficient by the City Secretary the legislation concerned shall not go into effect, or its operation shall be suspended, until and unless it is approved by the voters in an election as herein provided. In the event a petition is not submitted prior to or within thirty (30) days after the effective date thereof, but is submitted within one hundred twenty (120) days as otherwise provided by this Charter, the operation of the legislation concerned shall not be suspended.

Section 5. Procedure after a Petition is Received. The petition to initiate legislation or for a referendum shall be filed with the City Secretary who shall within twenty (20) days thereafter determine whether the petition is sufficient in form and has been signed by the requisite number of qualified voters. If the petition is insufficient in form or signatures, the City Secretary shall notify the person who has filed the petition of the reason therefor, and an additional period of ten (10) days shall be allowed within which to file an amendment or supplement which will correct the deficiency. When a petition as originally filed, amended or supplemented, is found to be sufficient, the City Secretary shall certify to the Council at its next regular meeting.

When the Council receives a petition to initiate legislation which has been certified by the City Secretary to be sufficient, the Council shall either enact the legislation proposed within thirty (30) days thereafter or it shall submit the legislation proposed to a vote of the qualified voters of the City at the next permissible uniform election date, which is not less than forty-five (45) days after the date on which the election is required to be called.

When the Council receives a petition certified by the City Secretary to be sufficient, asking for a referendum on legislation which it previously enacted, it shall formally reconsider such legislation within thirty (30) days thereafter and if upon such reconsideration the legislation is not repealed submit that legislation to the qualified voters of the City, for approval or rejection, at a regular, or special election to be held on the next permissible uniform election date, which is not less than forty-five (45) days after the date on which the election is required to be called.

No legislation that has been initiated by petition and adopted at an election by the qualified voters shall be repealed within two (2) years thereafter, and no legislation enacted by the Council and thereafter rejected by the qualified voters in an election held on petition for referendum shall be re-enacted by the Council within two (2) years thereafter.

If conflicting ordinances should be approved by the qualified voters in the same election, whether submitted upon petition as authorized herein or by the Council on its own initiative, the one which receives the greatest number of affirmative votes shall prevail to the extent of such conflict.

Section 6. Power of Recall. The people of the City shall have the power to recall any elected officer of the City and may exercise such power by filing with the City Secretary a petition, signed by at least ten (10) per cent of qualified voters of the City for those elected officers who were elected at large or signed by at least ten (10) per cent of qualified voters of the district for those elected officers who were elected by district, demanding the removal of such officer. The petition shall be signed and verified, and the sufficiency of the petition in form and number of signatures shall be determined by the City Secretary and certified to the Council, all in the same manner as required for an initiative petition.

Section 7. Procedure for Recall. When the City Secretary shall have certified to the Council that a sufficient petition for recall has been received, the Council shall order and election to be held at the next permitted election date at which there shall be submitted to all qualified voters the question whether the designated elected officer of the city shall be removed from office. If a majority of the votes cast at this recall election shall be for the removal from office of the elected officer named on the petition and ballot, the office shall be immediately declared vacant, and shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of the Charter for the filling of vacancies. An elected officer who has been so removed from office shall not be eligible to succeed himself or herself.

Section 8. Limitations on Recall. No recall petition shall be filed against an elected officer within ninety (90) days after the officer has taken office, and no elected officer shall be subjected to more than one recall election during a term of office. A recall election need not be ordered by the Council if the term of office of the elected officer against whom a petition is filed is to expire within ninety (90) days after the petition is filed with the City Secretary.

Section 9. Referendum Required For Assuming Certain Debts. The City Council of the City of Galveston shall be prohibited from assuming the outstanding indebtedness of any political subdivision located wholly within the corporate limits of the City of Galveston without approval at an election of a majority of the qualified voters voting in such election of the City of Galveston.

Section 10. Drilling in Water Areas Prohibited. The City Council, its officers and employees are prohibited from authorizing any further drilling for oil or gas in water areas within the corporate limits of the City of Galveston until such time as a Master Plan for drilling, extraction, processing, and handling of hydrocarbons within the city limits is developed and approved by referendum of the voters of the City of Galveston.

Section 11. Payment of Election Costs. If an election under this Article IV is held on a date other than the date of an election called by the Council on another question or for the election of one or more Councilmembers, State law shall govern payment of the election costs.

(Ord. No. 96-59, § 7, 6-16-96)

(Ord. No. 89-17, § 3(2), 1-26-89; Ord. No. 96-59, § 7, 6-16-96; Ord. No. 98-33, § 12, 6-3-98)

(Ord. No. 89-17, § 3(3), 1-26-89; Ord. No. 96-59, § 7, 6-16-96)

(Ord. No. 96-59, § 7, 6-16-96; Ord. No. 98-33, § 13, 6-3-98)

(Ord. No. 89-17, § 3(4), 1-26-89; Ord. No. 91-95, § 3(8), 11-14-91; Ord. No. 96-59, § 7, 6-16-96)

(Ord. No. 96-59, § 7, 6-16-96; Ord. No. 98-33, § 14, 6-3-98)

(Ord. No. 89-17, § 3(5), 1-26-89; Ord. No. 96-59, § 7, 6-16-96)

(Ord. No. 91-95, § 4(6), 11-14-91; Ord. No. 96-59, § 7, 6-16-96)

(Ord. No. 73-17, § 3, 4-12-73; Ord. No. 96-59, § 7, 6-16-96)

(Ord. No. 73-17, § 3, 4-12-73; Ord. No. 77-25, § 3, 4-4-77; Ord. No. 96-59, § 7, 6-16-96)

(Ord. No. 89-17, § 3(6), 1-26-89; Ord. No. 96-59, § 7, 6-16-96)