GlendaleFirst! has completed its in-depth investigation of Petition for Referendum R-12-02 and concludes that while the required 6956 signatures are not due until December 27, 2012, all signatures collected thus far are invalid. The petition paper work the political committee “Back To Sanity”, chaired by Francine Romesburg with Ken Jones as Treasurer have filed with the City of Glendale is fraught with fatal flaws.
Petitioning for a Referendum against a municipal action in Arizona requires following a few procedures. On page ONE of the handbook handed to everybody “pulling a packet” for a petition (which was done on November 29, 2012 in this case) is the following sentence:
“An application for a referendum petition serial number along with a 100 word description and a copy of the measure must be filed with the Secretary of State* before the circulation of the petition.” ( *for local elections Secretary of State should be replaced with City Clerk, and will be replaced as such in the remainder of this release)
The above sentence indicates that, when submitting an application, the person applying must submit to the clerk a 100 word description of the petition and a copy of the actual measure to be referred as a ballot measure. Jones and Romesburg, in this case ONLY filed the application itself, leaving out both the 100 word description and the copy of the measure.
The 100 word description must also be printed on the face of the petition in no less than 8 point type for later comparison with the filed description when verifying turned in petition sheets. This description must be on file with the clerk’s office BEFORE any petitions are circulated.
Back to Sanity also failed to file the actual text of their measure. This text must be on file with the city before the petitions are circulated. This text is the actual text that the citizens of Glendale would read and vote upon. This measure must also be printed on each petition sheet used to gather signatures. Again, this must be on file BEFORE any petitions are circulated.
Either of these errors would be cause to reject the entire petition on its own, Back To Sanity’s petition serial number R-12-02 has TWO of these severe errors.
We at Glendale First! find these to be egregious errors, in light of the fact that EXACTLY five months to the day (July 12, 2012) we wrote a press release nearly identical to this for Referendum R-12-01, when Mr. Jones and his former partner Mr. Joe Cobb, attempted to gather signatures on a similar referendum. Mr. Jones received a letter from the City of Glendale detailing the errors in his last petition attempt, which he then duplicated in the current referendum effort.
Glendale First! is under the impression that the City of Glendale has sent a letter to Back To Sanity notifying them of the errors in their filing. We are not sure why the City felt compelled to notify the committee before the petition sheets had been filed with the Clerk’s office considering that this was not the procedure followed in July 2012 for R-12-01. We assume clarification will be forthcoming in the next several days. (*Update - through a Public Records Request – we received a copy of the letter send to BTS – here is a link to the letter)
Glendale First! therefore concludes that, because of the above technical errors in the documentation and registration of Petition for Referendum R-12-02, all signatures in support of the petition for referendum would be rejected outright upon discovery of the above two major flaws. Arizona courts have opined that referendums require strict compliance to the laws, where initiatives only require substantial compliance. So, regardless of any possible dispute of the number of days available to collect signatures, that point is moot because the signatures were being collected in support of an invalid petition.
GlendaleFirst! has an army of dedicated volunteers working on education and signature suppression over the past 6 months, we have asked our people to cease operations as of today, and enjoy the holiday season with their friends and family. It has truly been a privilege to engage the community alongside so many passionate and dedicated men and women.
Glendale First! is a grassroots political action committee on file with the city of Glendale, Arizona. The committee is chaired by George Fallar, with Darrin Lacey as Treasurer. Glendale First! has dedicated its volunteers and efforts in a number of political efforts in the city of Glendale AZ over the past six months including; opposing R-12-01 the failed referendum petitions, opposing I-12-01 which became Prop 457, which was defeated in at the polls with a 2 to 1 margin, and of course in opposition to this latest effort with R-12-02. We are a diverse group of people, moms and dads, college students, professionals, and blue collar workers, what brings us together is a vision of a future Glendale with a developed thriving Westgate, and the arena with a Stanley Cup Champion team the Arizona Coyotes.
If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with call 480-502-3489, or send an email to bvwyatt@GlendaleFirst.org
We need a grass roots effort to fight the draconian cuts that will come with IF Prop 457 is passed.
Help us fight R-12-02 – We are accepting donations via PayPal. any funds NOT used will be used for Donations to the Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development – The Valley’s oldest sheleter for homeless youth (11 – 24).
* If you make a donation OVER $50, we must have your employer and job title on the final page before you send your payment. I don’t like this requirement, however it is required for the campaign finance reports. And we here at Glendale First! believe in following all campaign election laws.