Some KC city officials question special election charter

Bill Grady
September 13, 2017 - 4:36 am

With the KCI election just under eight weeks away, some city officials are thinking about the charter that allows citizens to place issues on the ballot.

Placing an initiative on the ballot in Kansas City requires certified petition signatures equal to five percent of the total number of votes cast in the most recent mayor's race. 

Mayoral races are in June and typically have small turnouts. The threshold for a ballot initiative is just over 1,700 signatures. For a referendum, the number is only 3,417.

A change in the ordinance is expected, said Troy Schulte, city manager.

"Not only a higher signature count, but probably from a more diverse area of the city," Schulte said. "Right now, you can get them all in one area."

Each special election costs about $500-thousand, Schulte said. 

Changing the charter would require approval of the city council and charter commission, and insiders say that is not likely in the near future. 

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