In accordance with the procedures hereinafter provided, the people of the municipality of Kingston reserve the power to propose and enact or reject ordinances independent of the Council; to approve or reject ordinances by referendum; and to recall any elective municipal officer.
Initiative petitions may, except as otherwise provided herein, propose ordinances on any subject. Such petitions shall be signed by qualified electors equal in number to at least twenty percent (20%) of the number of total votes cast for the office of Mayor in the most recent election for Mayor in the municipality. Each petition shall contain the full text of the measure and an enacting clause which shall read as follows: "Be it enacted by the people of the municipality of Kingston:". No signature contained in a petition on initiative shall be valid unless affixed to the petition within sixty (60) days prior to filing of the petition. The affirmative vote of the majority of those voting on the proposed ordinance shall be sufficient for its adoption, and upon certification by the County Board of Elections the ordinance shall become effective.
Petitions signed by five hundred (500) qualified electors and filed with the Municipal Administrator within ten (10) days after the enactment of an ordinance shall serve to postpone for forty (40) days the effective date of such ordinance. Within this 40-day postponement, petitions proposing a referendum on such ordinance shall be signed and filed by qualified electors equal in number to at least twenty percent (20%) of the number of total votes cast for the office of Mayor in the most recent election for Mayor in the municipality. Any ordinance duly referred to the people in this manner shall be adopted only when approved by a majority of those voting on the referendum and upon certification by the County Board of Elections shall become effective.
Petitions demanding the recall of any elective municipal officer shall be signed by qualified electors equal in number to at least forty five percent (45%) of the number of total votes cast for the office of mayor in the most recent election for Mayor in the municipality. No signature contained in a petition on recall shall be valid unless affixed to the petition within ninety (90) days prior to filing of the petition. If the majority of the votes cast on the question are in favor of recall, the office shall become vacant immediately upon certification of the results by the County Board of Elections. Any vacancy created by recall shall be filled in accordance with Articles II and III of this Charter.
Initiative, referendum, and recall shall be governed by the procedures and rules for form and sufficiency of petitions set forth in this Article as well as other procedures and rules regarding form and sufficiency of petitions as the Council may impose by ordinance consistent with the provisions, spirit, and purpose of this Article. All petitions shall be filed with the County Board of Elections which shall be the judge of their sufficiency. Any duly proposed ordinance, or any question of approving or rejecting an ordinance or any question on recall, shall be submitted to the voters of the municipality at the next primary, municipal, or general election held at least sixty (60) days after the petitions are filed at the County Board of Elections.
Initiative and referendum powers shall not extend to:
The budget or capital program, or any ordinance relating to the appropriation of money or levy of taxes. In addition, initiative shall not extend to any ordinance relating to the salaries of municipal officials or employees, and referendum shall not extend to emergency ordinances.
No recall petition shall be filed against any incumbent of an elective office within the first year or the last year of the term of his office, nor shall such petition be filed more than once during his term of office; but an officer who has been re-elected for a successive term shall be subject to recall at any time, but not more than once, during such term.
Any ordinance adopted or approved by the voters of the municipality under this Article may not be amended or repealed within two (2) years of the effective date, except upon vote of the electorate. Any ordinance repealed through referendum shall not be re-enacted within two (2) years of the effective date of the repeal, except through initiative procedures.
If two or more conflicting ordinances are approved or adopted in the same election, Council shall, within sixty (60) days, enact amendments or repeals or both as may be necessary to remove the conflict between these two or more ordinances. In so doing, Council shall whenever reasonably possible preserve the provisions of that ordinance which, among those in conflict, was adopted or approved by the greatest number of affirmative votes.