Sacramento City Clerk rejects arena subsidy measure from ballot By Ryan Lillis
Published: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 - 10:05 am
Sacramento City Clerk Shirley Concolino has decided to reject a June ballot measure seeking voter approval of subsidies for sports arenas, citing multiple legal issues with the petitions circulated in support of the measure.
Concolino told the groups behind the ballot measure this morning the petitions were “noncompliant with the California elections code and the Sacramento City Charter and are therefore insufficient” to qualify the measure for the ballot. Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork (STOP) and Voters for a Fair Arena Deal had collected 22,938 signatures from registered city voters in their attempt to qualify the measure for the ballot.
“I’ve never seen a petition with as many flaws as this one,” Concolino said.
The clerk said there were nine different versions of the petition. Wording differences in some of the petitions were minor, but others contained “substantial” variations, she said.
None of the petitions contained an enacting clause, a passage required by state elections law that notifies signers of petitions that the measure in question would become law if passed by voters.
Concolino said signatures were gathered on petitions that omitted an entire paragraph from a notice of intent the measure’s supporters filed with the clerk. In their notice of intent – which notifies the city that a petition is going to be circulated – STOP made reference to the city of Stockton’s arena. But 6,719 signatures appeared on petitions that did not include that reference.
Another 105 signatures were gathered before STOP filed its notice of intent.
In another misstep, when the proponents of the STOP measure published their notice of intent in the Sacramento Observer newspaper, they omitted their names and signatures in the publication, the clerk said.
Concolino’s decision sets up a likely legal battle. She said she has briefed the city attorney’s office on her dismissal of the ballot measure and has been told it can be defended.
Call The Bee’s Ryan Lillis, (916) 321-1085. Read his City Beat blog at www.sacbee.com/citybeat.
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