SECTION 12.1  FRANCHISES.
   (a)   No franchise ordinance, which is not revocable at the will of the council, shall be granted or become operative until the same shall have been referred to the people at a regular or special election and has received the approval of three-fifths (3/5) of the electors voting thereon at such election or as required by statute.
   (b)   All irrevocable public utility franchises, and all renewals, extensions and amendments thereof, shall be granted only by ordinance.  No such ordinance shall be adopted before thirty (30) days after application therefor has been filed with the council, nor until a full public hearing has been held thereon. No such ordinance shall become effective until it has been submitted to the electors and has been approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon.  No such ordinance shall be submitted to the electors at a general election to be held less than sixty (60) days after the grantee named therein has filed unconditional acceptance of all terms of such franchise, and it shall not be submitted to a special election unless the expense of holding the election, as determined by the council, shall have been paid to the city treasurer by the grantee.
   (c)   No exclusive franchise shall ever be granted, and no franchise shall be granted for a longer term than thirty (30) years.
   (d)   No such franchise shall be transferable, directly or indirectly, except with the approval of the council expressed by ordinance.
   (e)   Purchase of a franchised utility by the city shall require the approval of three-fifths (3/5) of the electors voting thereon.