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Deadline for billboard referendum is Monday

Posted: May 4, 2014 3:25 p.m.
Updated: May 4, 2014 3:25 p.m.

After a month of signature-gathering, blocking and more than a few arrests, Monday marks the deadline that a billboard referendum petition must be turned in to the Santa Clarita City Clerk’s office.

That referendum petition seeks to force the city to either repeal an ordinance that allowed for the billboard deal or allow a public vote by the people on the issue.

The ordinance, approved by the Santa Clarita City Council in March, gave the go-ahead for a proposal from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to take down 62 billboard structures along the Metro right-of-way inside city limits in exchange for giving Metro the right to construct three, double-sided digital billboards on city-owned property off Interstate 5 and Highway 14.

Under state law, proponents of the referendum had 30 days "within which to submit the petition with the signatures from at least 10 percent of the city’s 111,697 active registered voters (11,170 signatures),” according to a Friday news release from the city.

The entire petition must be submitted to the Santa Clarita City Clerk’s office by 5:30 p.m. Monday. Signature-gatherers, most of them hired from out of town, have been collecting signatures on copies all over town.

In a press release, petition organizers said they would deliver the signatures at 9:30 a.m. Monday to city hall.

“The petitions will be presented to the City Clerk, at which time the clerk will verify that the forms are correct and she will make a preliminary determination that there are the minimum required signatures,” city spokeswoman Gail Morgan said in an interview last week.

If the minimum required number of signatures are submitted, then they will be sent to Los Angeles County for verification, according to Morgan.

That verification process could take up to 30 days, according to city officials.

If referendum supporters are able to get the required number of valid signatures, the decision will be to either rescind the ordinance or to call an election to put the ordinance up for a citywide vote.

The referendum process has been a controversial one, with several people charged with misdemeanor offenses for incidents that occurred during signature-gathering at local stores in a little more than a week, according to information from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Allegations of petition “blockers” - people seeking to prevent citizens from signing the petitions - are being looked into by the Office of the Inspector General of Metro, according to officials.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




timothymyers02: Posted: May 5, 2014 8:53 a.m.

Social media is crackling with the news that CABB, the hastily formed organization against the electronic billboards, will deliver 18,000 signatures to the City Clerk on Monday morning, 7,000 MORE than is necessary so it makes it highly likely that the referendum will qualify. The City Council would then have a choice to nullify the ordinance on their own and thus moot the need for a referendum vote. They would then be barred for one year from enacting a similar ordinance.

A lot of discussion on social media upon whether AllVision would mount a strong campaign for a "NO" on the ordinance repeal. I think that with 18,000 signatures for a referendum (3,000 more than voted in the most recent election) a campaign would be insanity, but if they do attempt to defend the City Council's action we will know how much money is at stake in the deal.

Unreal: Posted: May 5, 2014 9:21 a.m.

Lets hope this makes it clear to the city council, you better pay attention to the voices of the citizens.

EgbertSouse4U: Posted: May 5, 2014 9:28 a.m.

timothymyers: I hope this is true... would be GREAT news!!!! A real wake-up call for the opportunist council members too.

stray: Posted: May 5, 2014 9:39 a.m.

@Timothy -

You are correct...

According to KHTS, "It would force the city to put the Metro deal on the ballot for residents, or it would force the city to rescind the deal, prompting at least a one-year delay while any details would have to be reworked"

So, this is getting VERY interesting! Because, IF the grannys DO NOT rescind the deal, that still buys them time to re-work the deal over the next year. P.S. We'll be watching every step you make grannys!!!

A note about Frank Ferry... It is a FACT that he, et al, mocked citizens who opposed this METRO deal at the city meetings. He said most "normal people" don't come to council meetings to complain."

That's interesting Frank! So, most normal people don't know how to officially sign petitions to halt your feckless decisions! Yep Frank, we're so abnormal, we PROVED you WRONG! LMAO !!!!

chefgirl358: Posted: May 5, 2014 10:25 a.m.

I sure hope they got enough signatures!

Vtown123: Posted: May 5, 2014 10:36 a.m.

18k signatures being delivered:

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