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Sec. 2. Initiative.
Any proposed ordinance may be submitted to the council by a petition signed by qualified and registered electors of the city equal in number to the percentage hereinafter required. The petition shall set forth a copy of the proposed ordinance.
An initiative petition, in order to be valid, must meet the following requirements:
(a) A notice of intention to circulate an initiative petition must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city once prior to the affixing of any signature to any petition and shall be substantially in the following form:
Notice of Intent to Circulate Initiative Petition
Notice is hereby given of the intention of the persons whose names appear hereon to circulate an initiative petition within the city of Palo Alto for the purpose of ________. A statement of the reasons of the proposed action as contemplated in said petition is as follows:
(b) A copy of the notice of intention, together with an affidavit of publication, shall be filed with the clerk prior to the affixing of any signature to any petition.
(c) Immediately after the publication and filing of the notice of intention to circulate, the initiative petition may be circulated and filed.
The signatures to the petition need not all be appended to one paper, but said petition may be presented in sections. Each section of the petition shall contain a copy of the notice of intention to circulate and a copy of the proposed ordinance. The number of signatures to each section shall be at the pleasure of the person soliciting signatures to the same. Any qualified voter of the municipality shall be competent to solicit said signatures. Unless and until it be proven otherwise by official investigation, it shall be presumed that the petition presented contains the signatures of the requisite number of qualified voters.
Each signer of said petition shall at the time of signing the petition include his printed name and place of residence, giving street and number, and if no street or number exists, then a designation of his place of residence which will enable the location to be readily ascertained and the name of the city. A place of at least one-inch wide shall be left blank after each name for the use of the clerk in verifying the petition.
In addition to the requirements specified above, each section shall have attached thereto the affidavit of the person soliciting the signatures stating:
(1) The name and address of the circulator and a statement that he or she is a qualified registered voter.
(2) That all the signatures affixed to the section were made in his or her presence.
(3) That to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, each signature is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be.
(4) The dates between which all signatures were obtained.
(5) The signature of the circulator. No other affidavit thereto shall be required.
Within fifteen business days from the date of filing such petition, the clerk shall examine and ascertain from the records of registration whether or not said petition is signed by the requisite number of electors entitled to vote, and if necessary the council shall allow the clerk extra help for that purpose, and the clerk shall attach to said petition his certificate showing the result of said examination.
If the petition accompanying the proposed ordinance be signed by qualified and registered electors equal in number of six percentum of the number of registered voters at the last general municipal election the council must either pass such ordinance without alteration or submit the same to the electorate at the next general municipal election that shall occur at any time not less than eighty-eight days from the date of the clerk's certificate of sufficiency. But if such petition is signed by qualified and registered electors equal in number to twelve percentum of said number of registered voters at the last general municipal election and contains a request that such ordinance be submitted to a vote of the people at a special election, then the council must either pass the ordinance without alteration or submit the same to the electorate at a special election to be called within the period provided by the general laws of the state of California.
If the clerk's certification shows that the petition is insufficient by reason of the failure to obtain sufficient valid signatures thereon, a supplemental petition, in form a duplicate of the original petition, bearing new additional signatures may be filed within ten days of the mailing of the certificate of insufficiency to the proponents of the initiative. Supplemental petitions shall be processed by the clerk in the same manner as set forth herein with respect to original petitions.
The ballots used when voting upon such proposed ordinance shall contain the words "For the Ordinance," and "Against the Ordinance" (stating the nature of the proposed ordinance). If a majority of the qualified electors voting on said proposed ordinance shall vote in favor thereof, such ordinance shall become a valid and binding ordinance of the city. The council may at such election submit any amendment thereto that it may deem proper, and the ballots used at such election shall contain the words "For the Amendment," or "Against the Amendment," or ordinance (naming the ordinance), and also stating the nature of the proposed amendment. If a majority of the qualified electors voting on said proposed amendment shall vote in favor thereof, such ordinance shall thereupon be deemed amended in accordance therewith. The council may also propose and submit any ordinance to the electors, and such ordinance, upon receiving a majority of the votes of the electors voting thereon, shall be deemed to have been adopted and shall be a valid and binding ordinance of the city. Such ordinances shall be considered as adopted upon the date the council conducts the official canvass of the election and shall go into effect ten days after that date. Any ordinance adopted by the electors under the provisions of this section cannot be repealed or amended, except by a vote of the people obtained in the manner hereinabove stated, unless such ordinance shall otherwise provide.
Any number of proposed ordinances may be voted upon at the same election in accordance with the provisions of this section: provided, that there shall not be held under this section of the charter more than one special election in any period of twelve months.