City Councilor Ken Cockayne said that organizers of the drive to have a referendum on the chief operating officer have now collected more than 4,000 signatures - well above the total needed to meet their goal, if the signatures hold up after a review.
There's a possible hitch, though.
Cockayne said that City Clerk Therese Pac has told organizers that the witnesses who signed the petitions -- attesting to the fact that all of the signatures were gathered in their presence -- must also be notarized.
That would mean going back to more than 100 petition gatherers and having them sign in the presence of a notary, which is possible but a pain in the ... well, you know.
Cockayne said that he's upset that the city is "changing the rules in the middle of the game" just days before the deadline.
He said the secretary of state's office told him that the law only requires that witnesses sign the forms. There's no provision for mandating that notaries are involved, he said.
It's not clear, though, that Pac or the city attorney, Dale Clift, are actually insisting that the forms are notarized.
The only reason I can think of for requiring a notary is to prevent witnesses who sign the petitions from claiming later they didn't really sign the forms. That may mean that somebody at City Hall thinks some signatures may have been gathered improperly, a problem that knocked out the most recent petition drive and caused talk at the time of the possible arrest of some petition gatherers for make a false statement.
Anyway, I'll update this when I know more.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org