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December 20, 2014

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Secretary of State OKs Boulder City ballot initiatives

Signatures for three ballot initiatives petitioned by Boulder City residents regarding the city’s debt, ownership of an 18-hole golf course and term limits for committee members were approved Monday by the Secretary of State’s Office.

The questions being proposed are whether the city should take a vote from residents when going into debt of at least $1 million, if the city should own only one 18-hole golf course and an initiative that would limit a city committee member’s term to 12 years.

A ballot committee submitted 955 signatures for the debt question, 861 on the golf course petition and 737 on the term limits petition. To be placed on the ballot, an initiative must be accompanied by a petition signed by at least 642 registered voters, according to the city clerk’s office.

Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said officials approved 888 signatures for the debt question, 683 for term limits and 781 for the golf course initiative.

The committee also petitioned for a charter amendment to elect the city attorney instead of having the position appointed by the city council. The 798 signatures for the amendment were approved May 7.

All of the signatures had to be collected 130 days before the Nov. 2 general election.

Because the city attorney question is a charter amendment, the initiative regarding the city attorney would have to be passed in two consecutive general elections, Lomax said.

City Clerk Lorene Krumm said the other three initiatives are code questions and will be discussed at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. She said the council will have an opportunity to adopt the questions or place them on the general election ballot at the Aug. 10 meeting.

If the City Council adopts the initiatives, it has the authority to make changes to them at a later date, City Attorney Dave Olsen said. If the questions are passed in the election, the only way to make changes would be through the passage of another ballot initiative, he said.

Olsen said if a City Council were to adopt an initiative for the sole purpose of being able to modify it later, it could face “scrutiny by the courts.”

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