EFFECTS OF NEW LAW QUESTIONED
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STATE CODE 4-15-15 LMS

A law requiring an automatic change to city codes, if those codes refer to state codes, will go into effect July1. As it stands now if state codes change, city codes that reference state codes have to go through an ordinance change process in order to comply. The Salmon City Council has voted to bring what differences currently exist into compliance by way of passing Ordinance 15-800 which was written to meet the current state requirements.

The new law, passed by the State Legislature, will automatically make changes connecting city codes to state codes when state codes change.

Council President Jim Baker took the lead in explaining compliance needs. He said there are some existing differences between the cityís Chapter 10 and state codes regarding referendums and initiatives and they must be brought into line with current state codes. He recommended the council waive the usual three reading rule and pass the ordinance immediately to assure compliance. Baker then proceeded to read the entire ordinance. The ordinance passed on a unanimous vote. It will go into effect on the date it is published in the Recorder Herald.

As of July 1, all old city codes that refer to state codes, referendums or initiatives will be repealed and replaced by the new legislation. Baker said the new legislation will further clarify the referendum/initiative process. The new rules dictate that each city shall allow legislation by the people through an initiative process. The step by step process is then outlined. The legislation also defines rules to follow when filing a petition such as; the number of signatures required, the validity of signatures and the time frame in which the petition must be submitted prior to the next scheduled election.

Local resident Bob Wiederrick wants to place an initiative on this Novemberís ballot and in order to comply with required election time frames it needs to be filed immediately. He will be following the rules currently in place and in order to meet time line requirements related to being on the November ballot, signatures on the petition have to begin being gathered and validated now. Waiting until after July 1 would make it too late as far as being on this yearís ballot.

Bakerís question to City Attorney Fred Snook was what happens after July 1 in terms of the initiative process continuing under the old code or new code?

Snook said he couldnít say at this time because there are several steps that must be taken prior to turning in the referendum and exactly when it will be ready to submit to the council is not known. Snook said he thinks the new code would apply as of July 1.

Wiederrick is also awaiting a legal determination from Snook as to whether the proposed initiative, as written, is in proper legal form.

During a Public Comment period Bob Wiederrick thanked the council for its ordinance vote and gave special thanks to City Clerk Mary Benton and Councilman Jim Baker for the hours of work that went into bringing the matter before the council. He expressed hope that the community appreciates its voting rights and will exercise them.

The issue Wiederrick is working to place on Novemberís ballot would give voters a chance to express their opinion on whether or not a Whitewater Kayak Recreational Park should be built on city property.


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