Norman resident Stephen Ellis filed a petition with the city clerk’s office Friday morning to overturn the council’s Nov. 26 vote on a contentious Tax Increment Finance District apportionment.
This not an action a resident can take through the city charter. Rather through state statute this petition would create a referendum to overturn the council’s vote on the package of items that ended the University North Park TIF apportionment.
“There are a lot of steps in the process and if they file the number of signatures than I have to verify that they have met the threshold, legal notices have to be published, they have to file ballot titles and that has to be approved by our city attorney,” Hall said. “I mean there’s a long process before it would ever make it to council for them to put it on a ballot.”
City Clerk Brenda Hall said since the petition has been filed in her office Ellis now has 30 days from the date of passage, Nov. 26, to get 3,265 signatures.
“Normally when our ordinances are adopted there is 30 days before they become effective,” Hall said. “One of the reasons that is 30 days before they become effective is because you have 30 days to file a resident’s referendum petition within that time period.”
If Ellis gathers the signatures needed then the council would vote on ballot language to send it to a vote of the people. That’s the only action council would take in this instance, Hall said.
“If the voters approve the referendum that was filed to overturn it then the action that council took would be null and void basically and we would be back where we were before the vote happened on the TIF,” Hall said.
In the event of voter approval, Hall said it’s likely that the council would have to go back to the drawing board with negotiations with developers UNP LLC and University Town Center LLC, and the review process again.
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