Election, Informational, Petition, Representation, Zoning

Petitions Update – 9/7/2023 – Judge still considering whether petitions can go on ballot

Posted by Bonnie Limbird

from the City of Prairie Village:

Update, September 7:

On September 6, Judge Rhonda Mason issued an oral judgement on the petitions case, ruling that the Rezoning Petition and the Adoption Petition may not be placed on the November ballot but that the Abandonment petition could. Later the same day, Judge Mason issued a contradictory written statement saying that the Rezoning Petition and the Abandonment petition could not be placed on the ballot but that the Adoption Petition could. 

In a meeting with attorneys for the City of Prairie Village and the attorney for PV United on September 7, Judge Mason gave attorneys an opportunity to speak and discuss perspectives on the matter before the court. The judge stated she was going to take additional time to consider judgement in this case and intends to release a more in-depth written decision. It is unknown at this time when her final ruling will be posted and available.  

Update, September 6, 5:15 p.m.: 

Judge Mason’s written ruling contradicts the oral ruling given this morning. The judge will meet with attorneys tomorrow morning and more information will be posted at that time. 

Previous article:

On September 6, a Johnson County District Court judge ruled that two of three petitions submitted to the City and County in August – the “Rezoning Petition” and the “Adoption Petition” – may not be placed on the November ballot.  

The Court held that the rezoning petition is “administrative” and, as such, is invalid as a petition under Kansas law. The Court also held that the adoption petition—which would have immediately eliminated positions on the City Council and purported to adopt a mayor-council-manager form of government—was not in compliance with the requirements of Kansas law and cannot be placed on the ballot. 

The Court held that the “Abandonment Petition”— which purports to abandon the City’s current mayor-council form of government — did substantially comply with statutory procedures and, therefore, may be placed on the ballot. However, under Kansas statute, a city continues its form of government until such time as the form is actually changed, which the Abandonment Petition does not do. Therefore, if the ballot attempt passes, Prairie Village city government will continue to operate in its current form. 

Kansas Statute 12-184a, Form of government continued, states: 

(a) A city shall continue to operate under its current form of government whether established at an election, or by adoption of a charter ordinance or ordinance until such time that the city’s form of government is changed as provided by law.

(b) All existing ordinances and charter ordinances relating to a city’s form of government, except those provisions relating to the timing of city primary and general elections, shall remain in effect until amended or repealed by such city.

The City will continue to provide residents with accurate information regarding any question on the November 2023 ballot, to avoid further confusion as to local government and the services provided by the City.

The judge indicated a short written version of the ruling would be available today, and a more in-depth version would be forthcoming by the end of the week.  The rulings will be posted as soon as the City is in receipt of them.

For previous updates on this topic visit https://www.pvkansas.com/Home/Components/News/News/4317/31

Additional information, including the petitions, are posted on the City’s website here.

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