Courtesy of Dominium
By Richard Smith | Your Valley
A petition drive aimed at blocking an affordable housing development in Surprised was denied after it failed requirements under state law.
Surprise City Clerk Sherry Aguilar informed the Voice of Surprise group in an email and letter Oct. 5 that its petition drive to create a voter referendum on the Truman Ranch Marketplace affordable housing project was rejected for one non-compliance with the procedures detailed in Arizona Revised Statutes.
An Arizona city clerk’s procedure for reviewing referendum petitions is ministerial duty imposed by the state law. Because of that specific language, the clerk has no legal authority or discretion to overlook or disregard a failure to strictly comply with the legal requirements for referenda in Arizona.
The one deficiency, detailed in the correspondence, means Aguilar will not forward a sampling of signatures to the Maricopa County Election Department.
“The referendum applicant failed to attach a copy of the full title and text of the measure sought to be referred, City of Surprise Ordinance 2022-18, to the ‘Application for Serial Number Initiative or Referendum Petition A.R.S. § 19-111’ filed with the Clerk’s office on August 29, 2022. This deficiency requires by law that all of the petition sheets and signatures be rejected by the City Clerk,” the letter stated.