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The holder of any elective office may be removed at any time by the electors qualified to vote for a successor of such incumbent. The procedure to effect the removal of an incumbent of an elective office shall be as follows: A petition signed by electors entitled to vote for a successor to the incumbent sought to be removed, equal in number to at least twenty percentum of the entire vote for all candidates for the office of mayor cast at the last preceding general municipal election, demanding an election of a successor of the person sought to be removed, shall be filed with the city clerk, which petition shall contain a general statement of the grounds for which the removal is sought. The signatures to the petition need not all be appended to one paper, but each signer shall add to his signature his place of residence, giving the street and number. One of the signers of each such paper shall make oath before an officer competent to administer oaths, that the statements therein made are true as he believes, and that each signature to the paper appended is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be. Within ten days from the date of filing such petition, the city clerk shall examine and from the voter’s register ascertain whether or not said petition is signed by the requisite number of qualified electors, and if necessary, the council shall allow him extra help for that purpose, and he shall attach to said petition his certificate showing the result of said examination. If, by the clerk’s certificate, the petition is shown to be insufficient, it may be amended within ten days from the date of said certificate. The clerk shall, within ten days after such amendment, make like examination of the amended petition and if his certificate shall show the same to be insufficient, it shall be returned to the person filing the same, without prejudice, however, to the filing of a new petition to the same effect.
If the petition shall be deemed to be sufficient, the clerk shall submit the same to the council without delay. If the petition shall be found to be sufficient, the council shall order and fix a date for holding said election, not less than thirty days nor more than forty days from the date of the clerk’s certificate to the council that a sufficient petition is filed.
The council shall make, or cause to be made, publication of notice and all arrangements for holding such election, and the same shall be conducted, returned and the result thereof declared in all respects as are other city elections. So far as applicable, except as otherwise herein provided, nominations hereunder shall be made without the intervention of a primary election by filing with the clerk at least ten (10) days prior to said special election, a statement of candidacy accompanied by a petition signed by electors entitled to vote at said special election, equal in number to at least ten per centum of the entire vote for all candidates for the office of mayor at the last preceding general municipal election, which said statement of candidacy and petition shall be substantially in the form set out in Section Six of this act, so far as the same is applicable, substituting the word “special” for the word “primary” in such statement and petition and stating therein that such person is a candidate for election instead of nomination.
The ballot for such special election shall be in substantially the following form:
Special election for the balance of the unexpires term of as .
(Vote for one only)
(Names of candidates)
(Name of present incumbent.)
Office ballot, attest:
The successor of any officer so removed shall hold office during the unexpired term of his predecessor. Any person sought to be removed may be a candidate to succeed himself, and unless he requested otherwise in writing, the clerk shall place his name on the official ballot without nomination. In any such removal election, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected. At such election, if some other person than the incumbent receives the highest number of votes, the incumbent shall thereupon be deemed removed from the office upon qualification of his successor. In the case the party who received the highest number of votes should fail to qualify within ten days after receiving notification of election, the office shall be deemed vacant. If the incumbent received the highest number of votes, he shall continue in office, and those electors who signed the petition demanding such special election shall, unless it be otherwise ordered by the council, pay the costs of such election, which said costs shall be a lien against the property of all of such petitioners, collectable and enforceable in like manner and to the same extent as taxes due to the city are collected. The said method of removal shall be cumulative and additional to the methods heretofore provided by law.