Members of the West Hollywood Term Limits group, who are seeking to place an initiative on the March 2013 ballot that would restrict city council members to serving no more than three terms, plan to have their petitions submitted to the city clerk on Tuesday.
Scott Schmidt, a key organizer and petitioner for the group, said the group initially planned to submit the petition to the city by Sept. 25, but there is not an exact deadline for submittal.
City Clerk Corey Schaffer said the deadline for the city council to place an initiative on the March ballot is Dec. 7. But first, the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters would have to verify that the signatures on the petition are those of registered voters residing within the city limits. By law, the registrar has 30 business days to complete the verification.
As soon as the county registrar completes that process the petition will then be placed on the next city council agenda, Schaffer said.
If the petition is submitted to the registrar on Tuesday, 30 business days for the county—which has holidays on Oct. 8 (Columbus Day) and Nov. 12 (Veterans Day)—would put the registrar’s deadline on Nov. 15, just before the city council’s scheduled Nov. 19 meeting.
If there were a delay of any kind, the city council would have one more meeting scheduled, on Dec. 3, four days before its deadline.
Schmidt said that making sure the petition had valid signatures outweighed the urgency to get it submitted as soon as possible.
The minimum number of signatures required for the petition is 2,344, 10 percent of the city’s registered voters.
“We decided to keep collecting for another week,” Schmidt said. “Nearly 4,000 people have signed the petition, but a big number of them don’t live in West Hollywood and thought that they did. We’ve been going through and checking to see who does live in Weho.
“It’s surprising to see how many people think they live in Weho and actually live right over the border.”
“We wouldn’t be turning it in if we weren’t confident that we had the correct number to get it on the ballot,” Schmidt said.
Once a verified petition is presented to the city council, its members then have three options, Shaffer said: Adopt the initiative into law, place the initiative on the March ballot, or ask the city attorney to compile a report on the impacts the initiative would have on the city.
If for some reason the city council did not act on the petition within 30 days, Schaffer said, it would become law.