County election official rules against automated trash petition; comments from Mayor Hansel and council member Kelly Hawley.
The results were released to local media late last Wednesday afternoon of the petition submitted to the county election clerk regarding the issue of automated sanitation in Wellington. The number of valid signatures required was 275, representing 5% of the registered voters in Wellington (5,493).
Of the 41 pages received, containing 331 signatures, it was determined that 170 signatures were accepted and 161 were rejected. This does not constitute enough signatures required for the City of Wellington to call for an election of the registered voters.
Those rejected were for the following reasons:
5 circulator cannot witness his/her own signature
1 district is incorrect
2 ineligible information
3 name or signature does not match registration
18 residence does not match registration
118 time—circulator signature improperly predated voter signature (s)
—no date or illegible date of signature
Council member Kelly Hawley responded that she was surprised seeing “Only 52% of the signatures were validated. I expected a higher number, but am not surprised the petition failed. I appreciate the public’s efforts, but wish more would strive to be informed and also reach out and ask questions.”
Mayor Hansel believes if she “can find three votes” on the council “then we can get this thing passed.”
Gary Clements released a statement on social media: “I owe the residents of the city of Wellington an apology. I have failed you! 118 of the signatures were rejected because the forms were notarized prior to obtaining the signatures and I did not know this was a requirement. I have read the statute numerous times and I cannot find where it says when to notarize the form, only that it must be notarized. Do not be discouraged as the new council will vote on this issue, and your voice matters. All of you are important, so show up to the council meetings and let them know where you stand. If everyone that signed the petition shows up to the council meeting “ it will make a difference.