Election, Informational, Representation

Petitions Update – 9/18/2023 – Judge issues final ruling on petitions case

Posted by Bonnie Limbird

On September 15, Johnson County District Court Judge Rhonda Mason issued her final ruling on the Prairie Village petitions case. In a written ruling available here, the court 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 a 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, is eligible to be placed on a future 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 a future ballot attempt were to pass, Prairie Village city government would continue to operate in its current form. 

While the court ruled that the abandonment petition may be placed on a future ballot, Johnson County Election Commissioner Fred Sherman stated on September 8 that the deadline for submitting questions for the November 2023 ballot had expired. 

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

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

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