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Deputy City Clerk Lynda Travis provided an update on the recently filed referendum petition and the possibility of a special election during the Salida City Council work session Monday, May 7.

Former city councilman Hal Brown and former mayor Jim LiVecchi filed the petition protesting Ordinance 2018-04, which approved the proposed Salida Crossings planned development at 1520 U.S. Highway 50, the former location of the Town and Country Chevrolet dealership.

The petition was filed April 19, and an initial determination of referendum petition sufficiency was issued April 26.

Travis said the next step in the referendum process is the 40-day protest period, which
“commences on the date the referendum is filed,” i.e., April 19.

According to Travis, May 29 marks the end of the 40-day protest period. The final determination of referendum petition sufficiency can then be issued May 30.

Barring a successful protest against the petition, council will then reconsider the ordinance at the June 5 regular meeting. Council members will have two choices:

1. Repeal the ordinance, in which case the referendum process would be complete.
2. Reaffirm the original vote on the ordinance, in which case the ordinance would be decided by Salida voters in a special election.

By state statute the special election would need to be held not less than 60 days and not more than 150 days after the final determination of petition sufficiency and cannot take place within 32 days of a primary (June 26) or a general election (Nov. 6).

If council members vote not to repeal the ordinance, Travis said they will need to set a date for the special election on a Tuesday from Aug. 7 until Oct. 2.

Travis noted other considerations, including the requirement that ballots be mailed to active military and overseas voters no later than 45 days before the election. Ballots would also need to be created, approved and delivered to the city in time to meet all statutory requirements.

Travis’ report also mentioned a city staff recommendation that, in the event of a special election, council might consider including other questions on the ballot since additional questions would not increase the cost of the special election.