KINGMAN - The attempt to reverse a Kingman City Council ordinance that turned 15 acres of residential land into commercial property is one step closer, according to the city clerk.
RAID, Residents Against Irresponsible Development, submitted 685 signatures Jan. 4 to the city in an effort to give voters a chance to undercut the Council's rezoning ordinance and keep retail developers out of the neighborhood near Airway Avenue and North Castle Rock Road.
The developer who originally planned the strip mall has since dropped out of the deal with local property owners following news of the referendum, but the current commercial zoning could still be inviting for another developer with similar plans - one who's not so shaken by public outcry.
City Clerk Debbie Francis, who is tasked with reviewing petitions before they're sent to the county elections office, has eliminated 91 of the 685 signatures RAID collected.
"Of the 91 signatures I pulled," Francis stated in an e-mail, "they were for the following reasons: 60 were not city addresses, 17 were illegible, 11 had the wrong date, and 3 were on a petition page that did not have if the circulator was paid or volunteer."
Minus the 91 invalid names, RAID still has 133 more than the 461 required to put the issue on the ballot. Francis has already notified the Secretary of State's Office, which will then send word of which signatures will be randomly pulled from the referendum sheets to be checked for voter eligibility.
In order to put an issue on the ballot via a referendum, the group advocating the petition must show, by number of signatures, that a significant amount of residents are displeased with an issue.
In the case of a referendum for the city, the collectors must gather 461 signatures, or 10 percent of the city's voting population.
Unlike recalls of elected officials, though, each signature is not verified individually. Instead, the secretary of state pulls - via random computer selection - a 5-percent sample of all collected signatures.
The county elections office then runs the check on the sample to see if the people who signed the petition are registered voters.
To make it to a special ballot in May, nearly 78 percent of the signatures must check out.
With the 5 percent sample, 24 of the approximately 30 signatures checked must be found authentic by the county elections office.
Francis has not received word yet from the county regarding the sampling, she said.