A petition with over 2,000 signatures was filed Friday at the Saline County Clerk’s office by Kevin Korb on behalf of a group of concerned Salina citizens protesting several actions over the past 14 months by the Salina City Commission.
According to Korb, the petition is an effort to rein in some of the mandates put in place by the Commission that the group feels violates citizens rights.
Saline County Clerk Jamie Doss will now begin the process of verifying the signatures. In order for the petition to be valid 1,632 of the 2,114 must be verified. The number of valid signatures needed is based on voter turnout from the most recent City election. That election was held in November of 2019 when 6527 number of Salina voters cast a ballot. 25% of that number is necessary for the petition to go forward.
Doss is expected to determine if there are enough valid signatures by the end of the month.
If the petition does reach the required number of valid signatures needed, the Commission will then have up to 20 days to either enact the new ordinance requested on the petition or put the matter to a vote of the people. If it does go to a public vote, that will be on the November ballot.
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The petition reads: “
Shall the following ordinance become effective? Summary of the proposed ordinance:
This ordinance prevents the City of Salina Governing Body from enacting any ordinance, in response to a public emergency, that imposes restrictions on businesses or citizens, leaving that responsibility to Saline County and subject to the Kansas Emergency Management Act.
Complete Text of the proposed ordinance:
AN ORDINANCE LIMITING THE POWER OF THE CITY OF SALINA GOVERNING BODY TO IMPOSE RESTRICTIONS ON BUSINESSES AND CITIZENS RELATED TO A STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED AT THE COUNTY OR STATE LEVEL
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE CITY OF SALINA, KANSAS: Section 1. Definitions
“Business” means any organization or entity, whether open to the public or a private entity operating within the city limits of the City of Salina, Kansas.
“Citizen” for the purpose of this ordinance means any person residing in, or being present in the city at any time.
“Restriction” means any limitations on movement, behavior, business operation or general liberty that is imposed on businesses or citizens and is or would be reasonably perceived as a reaction to an “emergency state” that is declared at the State of Kansas or Saline County level
“Governing Body” means the City Commission of the City of Salina, Kansas
Section 2. Limitations on power of Governing Body to impose restrictions during emergency.
The Governing Body of the City of Salina shall not impose any restrictions on businesses or citizens of the City of Salina on activities that are otherwise lawful in response to any state of emergency declared at the
County or State level. Examples of restrictions include but are not limited to: Limitations on business capacity, Limitations on business hours, Forcing a business to close, Restricting what may be bought or sold, Restrictions on citizens leaving their residence, Restrictions on citizens being in public places, Curfews applying to citizens, Forced medical treatment of any kind such as mandatory vaccines or the mandatory wearing of face coverings or other medical protective equipment.
The wearing of face coverings or other medical protective equipment may not be required on any public owned property, such as parks and other facilities operated by the City of Salina unless a health order mandating the same is in effect for Saline County.
The purpose of this ordinance is to defer any such restrictions to Saline County to impose at its discretion and subject to the framework of the “Kansas Emergency Management Act” (Kansas Statutes Annotated, Chapter 48, Article 9)
Section 3. Effective This ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its adoption and publication once in the official city newspaper by the following summary:
This ordinance prevents the City of Salina Governing Body from enacting any ordinance in response to a public emergency that imposes restrictions on businesses or citizens, leaving that responsibility to the county and subject to the Kansas Emergency Management Act. A complete copy of the ordinance can be found at www.salina-ks.gov or in the office of the City Clerk, 300 W. Ash, free of charge.