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City of Fairfield, Ohio
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Article X


NOMINATIONS, ELECTIONS, INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM AND RECALL

§10.01 NOMINATIONS.

(A) Nominations for the offices of member of Council and the Mayor shall be made only by nominating petition and no primary election shall be held. Nominating petitions shall be signed by not less than fifty electors of the City. The petitions shall be filed with the election authorities not later than four p.m. of the ninetieth day before the day of the regular Municipal election at which such officers are to be elected.

(B) Any provisions of the Ohio Revised Code notwithstanding, nominations for the office of Judge of the Fairfield Municipal Court shall be made only by nominating petition and no primary election shall be held. Nominating petitions shall be signed by not less than fifty electors of the City. The petitions shall be filed with the election authorities not later than four p.m. of the ninetieth day before the day of the regular municipal election at which such judge is to be elected, except that where a vacancy for the unexpired term of a judge of the Fairfield Municipal Court occurs less than ten (10) days prior to the ninetieth day before the day of the regular municipal election for such unexpired term, such nominating petition shall be filed with the election authorities not later than four p.m. of the tenth day after such vacancy occurs. (Ord. 142-99. Passed 8-9-99.)

§10.02 ELECTIONS.

(A) The members of Council and the Mayor shall be elected at non-partisan elections to be held at the times and to be otherwise conducted by the election authorities in the manner provided by the election laws of Ohio, except as otherwise provided in this Charter.

(B) The Council may, by a two-thirds vote of its members, at any time, order a special election by ordinance or resolution, the purpose of which shall be set forth in the ordinance or resolution; and which may include the referral of a proposed or pending ordinance or resolution to the voters for their approval or rejection.

(C) All regular and special elections shall be conducted by the election authorities in the manner and at the times provided by the election laws of Ohio, except as otherwise provided in this Charter. (Amended 6-8-82)

§10.03 INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM.

(A) Ordinances and resolutions may be proposed by initiative petition and adopted by election, and ordinances and resolutions adopted by Council and rules and regulations adopted by the Parks and Recreation Board pursuant to Section 8.05(B)(6) of this Charter shall be subject to referendum as provided by the Constitution and laws of Ohio, except:

  1. Initiative and referendum petitions shall be signed by electors of the City equal in number to not less than ten percent of the number of persons voting at the last previous regular Municipal election; and such petitions shall be filed with the Clerk of Council who shall perform the powers, duties and functions of the Auditor, as specified in the general laws pertaining to initiative and referendum. The Clerk of Council shall determine the validity of such petitions and certify the results thereof within ten days after their filing to the Council and the election authorities.
  2. Ordinances and resolutions initiated by petition or subjected to referendum shall be submitted to the electors for approval or rejection at the next general or primary election occurring subsequent to sixty days after certification of the text of the ordinance or resolution to the election authorities, unless Council, by a majority vote of its members, submits such ordinances or resolutions for approval or rejection at a special election to be held not earlier than sixty days after certification of the text or the ordinance or resolution to the election authorities.
  3. All ordinances and resolutions, including emergency measures, shall be subject to referendum, except that the following ordinances and resolutions shall not be subject to referendum:
    1. (a) When the Council is required to pass more than one ordinance or resolution to complete the legislation necessary to make and pay for public improvement, the right to referendum shall apply only to the first ordinance or resolution required to be passed and not to any subsequent ordinances or resolutions relating thereto.
    2. (b) Ordinances or resolutions providing for appropriations for the current expenses of the City, or for public improvements petitioned for by the owners of a majority of the feet front of the property benefited and to be especially assessed for the cost thereof.
    3. (c) Ordinances and resolutions adopted as emergency measures which authorize the issuance of bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness, or emergency ordinances and resolutions appropriating money, authorizing contracts or enacting police regulations necessitated by fire, natural disasters, riot or acts of war or insurrection.
  4. Initiative and referendum petitions shall contain or have attached thereto a statement of the names and addresses of not less than three nor more than five electors who signed the petition who are appointed to act as a committee to represent the petitioners before the Council or any other public body or court. Such statement shall be signed by each such committee member accepting the appointment. Vacancies on such committee shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the committee.
  5. Ordinances and resolutions proposed by initiative or subjected to referendum, and rules and regulations adopted by the Parks and Recreation Board subjected to referendum, if approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon, shall become effective on the day on which the election authorities certify the official vote on the question.

(B) No ordinance or resolution repealed by Council after the filing of referendum petitions thereon shall be passed, unless by way of initiative petition and election, within six months of the repeal by the Council.

§10.04 RECALL.

(A) The electors shall have the power to remove from office by a recall election any elected official of the City in the manner herein provided.

(B) If the elected official shall have served six months of his term, an elector or electors of the City may serve written notice upon the Clerk of Council of their intent to circulate petitions for the recall of a named elected official or officials. Not later than thirty days after service of such notice of intent on the Clerk of Council, such persons may file, with the Clerk of Council, a petition demanding the removal of an elected official. Separate petitions shall be filed for each elected official sought to be removed by recall. The Clerk shall note thereon the name and address of the person filing the petition and the date of such filing, and deliver to such person a receipt therefor and attach a copy thereof to said petition. Such petition may be circulated in separate parts, but the separate parts shall be bound together and filed as one instrument. Each part shall contain the name and office of the person whose removal is sought and a statement of the grounds for the removal. Such petition shall be signed by at least that number of electors which equals twenty percent in number of the electors voting at the last preceding regular Municipal election; provided, if the petition is filed demanding the removal of a ward Council member, such petition shall be signed by at least that number of electors of the ward which equals twenty percent in number of the electors voting in such ward at the last preceding regular Municipal election.

(C) Within ten days after the day on which such petition is filed, the Clerk of Council shall determine whether or not it meets the requirements hereof. If the Clerk of Council shall find the petition insufficient, the Clerk shall promptly certify the particulars in which the petition is insufficient, deliver a copy of the certificate to the person who filed the petition and make a record of such delivery. Such person shall be allowed a period of ten days after the day on which such delivery was made in which to make the petition sufficient. If the Clerk of Council shall find the petition sufficient, the Clerk shall promptly so certify to Council and shall deliver a copy of such certificate to the person whose removal is sought within five days, and shall make a record of such delivery.

(D) If the person whose removal is sought shall not resign within five days after the day on which the Clerk’s certification shall have been delivered, Council shall thereupon fix a day for holding a recall election, not less than thirty days nor more than forty-five days, after the date of the Clerk’s certification of sufficiency to the Council, and shall cause notice of such recall election to be published on the same day of each week, for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of circulation in the City. At such recall election, this question shall be placed upon the ballot: “Shall (naming the person whose removal is sought) be allowed to continue as (naming the office)?”, with the provision on the ballot for voting affirmatively or negatively. In the event a majority of the vote is negative, such person shall be removed, his office shall be vacant, and such vacancy shall be filled as provided in this Charter. The person removed at such recall election shall not be eligible for appointment to the vacancy created thereby. If the person is not removed at such recall election, no further recall petitions shall be filed against him or her for the remainder of his or her term. In the event that a recall election is ordered, as provided by this section, for a ward Council member, only the electors of the ward which such Council member represents shall be entitled to vote upon the issue of recall.

(E) A removal by recall election shall not bar the person so removed from becoming a candidate for office in future elections.