Laserfiche WebLink
At a special meeting of the City Council, held on February 6th, 1960, at 9:30 <br /> <br />B. W, Baker, A. C. Bartlett, W.R. Breedlove, n.B. Seward, R, Irvine Smith, <br />George R. Walker, H. E; Weiseman, ~.P. Johnson.,Jr., City Manager, and <br />J;S; ~Livesay, Jr., City Attorney. <br /> <br />The following call for the meeting was read: <br /> <br /> '~You are ~requested to attend a special meeting of the City Council, in the Council Cham- <br />ber, at 9:30 A.M., on February 6th, 1960 <br /> <br />· : either 1) <br /> <br />or ~) <br /> <br />tO consider on first reading "AN ORDINANCE.REQUESTIN6 T~AT THE GENERAL~ <br />ASSEMBLY A~.END CHAPTER I, Section 4 OF THE CHARTER OF THE CITY:.~0F <br />PORTS~UT~IN TNE ~uNNER 'I'~L~REIN DESCRIBED" so as to abolish Council- <br />manic [~rimaries. <br />to consider the following resolution: <br /> 'Be it Resolved by the Council of the City of Portsmouth, Virginia, that., <br /> to a vote of the electors of the City of Portsmouth, <br /> at an election to be held on the day o~ .. - , t960, the <br /> question set forth-in the petition of Louis R. Keller and othersf filed <br /> with the~City Clerk on the ~dth day of January, 1960, namely: <br /> <br /> "S~ould the ordinance, presented by ~ayor Baker, and rejected by <br />a majority of the Council of the-City of-~Portsmou, th on the Zqth day of <br />December, 1~59, providing for the elimination of Councilmanic primaries, <br />b~ adopted~' <br /> <br /> And be it further resolved that the Elec.toral Board:of the City be, and <br /> they are henehy, directed to m~ke %he necessary arrangements for the elec- <br /> tion .and take ~he sense of the qualified 9oter~ of the City on the question <br /> as set forth in said petition.' <br /> By Order of the P~esident." <br /> <br /> 60-28 - The following report from the City Attorney was read: <br /> <br /> "At a special meeting of the Council, held on January 29th, 1960, the petition of Louis <br /> H. Keller and others, with respec~ to-elimination of couneilnmnic ~rimaries, presented to the City Clerk on <br /> January ~8, 1960, was referred to me for determination~ of its sufficiency. <br /> Within the framework of Chapter X of the City Charter, the Council as a body is con- <br />cerned only-with the formofthe ~etition; the ~umber of signers-and the manner of its execution. Although the <br />form of the petition and the manuer of its execution leave something t6 be desired, I nevertheless believe that <br />the petition is sufficient from those points. The Charter requires that the petition be signed by not less than <br />fifteen per cen~em o~ the ~umber~of persons voting for governor in thelas~ preceding gubernatorial election. <br />According to figures furnished to me this percentage equals 1,Zql. The petitioh purports to contain the signa- <br />tures of 1,809 -qaalified~voters ~and isthemefore~entitl~d und&r~he Cha~t~ to the presumption that it has been <br />signed by the required number of qualified voters. <br /> In the past, it has been customary for the person checking the petition for the <br />Council to also report hew many of the siE~ms a~e qualified voters. ~To do so in this case has been impossible <br />within the manpower and time ~lim~ations~mBosed.for the' reasons hereinbelow stated. <br /> Within the last several~ weeks, the General R~gistrar received the listings of regis- <br />tered voters within the territory anne~ed~en ~anuary-1, 1968-~ Because~mest.of these listings are separated as <br />to white and colored, and for each voting precinct annexed, there are 13 lists which would have to be searched <br />for a given name subscribed-to*'the petition. . ' <br /> The situation as to checking;for .pay-merit of the'~ast three years' poll ta~ is eom - <br />plicated by the fact that the County Treasurer will not be able to certify the names of poll taxpayers as re - <br />quired under the amlexation decree for ~t least-another month.- ~ecau~e of the requirements of the Constitution <br />and general election la~s of the ~State,~this certified-listing is e~ential to the determination of who is <br />qualified voter in the annexed areas, When received, this listing will probably be composed of eight all~habeti- <br />cal l~istings as to magisterial district, race and sex, thereby further compounding the difficulties of determin- <br />ing qualifications of the names on the petition. <br /> ~ithout attempting to give an,opinion as~to.~the legal question of whetkerany of the <br />annexed voters can be considered ss qualified voters of the City prior to receipt of certified poll ~ax listings <br />from the county treasurer, I wish to point out that the City Clerk could not perform the function of mailing <br />copies of the proposed ordinance~ etc.~ as specified in Section 3 of Chapter X of the Charter, re each qualified <br />voEer 'five days prior to the election until'the poll tax listings are available to her. From information now <br />available to me, I can not see how any assurance can be given that the envelopes for this mailing can be pre <br />p~red prior ~to May, and if ~th~ Co~mcil decides ~o-call an electi6n ut~R'~he:question presented by the petition, <br />I caution against calling it sooner." <br /> <br /> The following statement was made b~ ~r. Bartlett: <br /> <br /> "A;review of-'the~mstt~r that is the subject of today's special meeting, will reveal <br />the following facts: '~ .... ~ .., <br /> <br /> The Nayor and ~resident of the Council brought to his Council a proposed amendment <br />to the Charter of the City~'of:Portsmouth, and proposed that'the'Council-go'On record as opposing Councilmanic <br />primaries. He made theft~ proposal 'at a ~conference held with the elected members of the State Legislature. The <br />Council, a~ that time,_did not agree, and his proposal that the legislators be instructed was defeated by a <br />substantial majority vote. <br /> Then, the ~President of the Connci~, to whom the'wishes of the majority apparently <br />mean little .or nothiag~ drew or hsd drawn, an ordinance that would accomplish his purpose and ignore~the will <br />of the Council. That ordinance was defeated and the Council refused to favorably consider the matter. <br /> The President of the Council then had prepared several hundred blank petitions, az <br />City expense, and placed them in the hands of persons agreeable to his proposal, and we now have before the <br /> <br /> <br />