Ownership Update: Coyotes Lease Referendum Dead?

As Monday has now become Tuesday, a quick look at the calendar shows that it is July 10th. This is significant because more than 30 days have passed since the Glendale city council approved a lease agreement with prospective Phoenix Coyotes buyer Greg Jamison. That passing of 30 days also symbolizes the passing of the deadline to turn in a petition with signatures in order to put the lease agreement up for a vote in November. The petition was due on the July 9 at 5 p.m. Arizona Time. The deadline came and went and the petition was never filed. This opens the path for the NHL to complete the sale of the Coyotes to Greg Jamison.

There has been dispute by the two men involved in gathering signatures about  both the number of signatures needed and the date when the petition is required to be turned in. The City of Glendale says that about 1,862 valid signatures needed to be turned in on July 9. The referendum seekers say that about 1,600 valid signatures are needed by July 16. The difference in date is caused becasue the two men did not pick up their documents for a petition until June 16. The difference in number of signatures is based on the last city-wide election. Glendale requires that the number of signatures needed for any referendum be based on 10% of the voting population in the last city-wide election.  

So what does Arizona law say?

Number of signatures needed: There were 18,620 ballots cast in the 2008 city wide election. This means that 10% would equal 1,862 required signatures. The referendum seekers argue that they only needed 1,100 signatures because only 11,000 people voted in the 2010 election. The 2010 election was not a city-wide election. The referendum seekers then changed their claim to around 1,600 signatures because only 16,486 voted for the Glendale mayor in 2008. The answer is clearly stated in Section A of the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) number 19-142: “The whole number of votes cast at the citywide or townwide election at which a mayor or councilmen were chosen last preceding the submission of the application for a referendum petition against an ordinance, franchise or resolution shall be the basis on which the number of electors of the city or town required to file a referendum petition shall be computed. For the purposes of this section, a citywide or townwide election is an election at which all of the qualified electors of a city or town are eligible to vote for a mayor or members of the city or town council.”

Date: The Glendale City Council passed the lease agreement on June 8. The remainder of Section A of ARS 19-142 states: “The petition shall be filed with the city or town clerk within thirty days after passage of the ordinance, resolution or franchise.” The only time this would not be the case is if they city clerk does not provide the full and proper documentation the same business day it is requested as outlined in Section C of ARS 19-142: “At the time a person or organization intending to file a referendum petition against an ordinance or resolution applies for the issuance of an official number pursuant to section 19-111, the city or town clerk shall provide such person or organization with a full and correct copy of the ordinance or resolution in the form as finally adopted. If the copy of the ordinance or resolution proposed as a referendum is not available to such person or organization at the time of making application for an official number or on the same business day as the application is submitted, the thirty-day period prescribed in subsection A of this section begins on the day that the ordinance or resolution is available from the city or town clerk, and the ordinance or resolution shall not become operative until thirty days after the ordinance or resolution is available.”

The burden of proof is on the opposition to prove that Glendale did not provide the necessary documents in full when requested. Glendale, in a letter to the Goldwater Institute, says that they did provide all documentation necessary. The fate of the Coyotes may rest in the hands of the referendum seekers and the citizens of Glendale.


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  • Zach

    I’m part of the Ravenous Coyotes Fans group, I help run it. People across the NHL like to bash our fanbase and claim that we have no fans or that we are all bandwagons. Can you hear us now? When we watch the season opener in Glendale, it will have such a different feeling knowing that the volunteers from Glendale First and the PAC were able to make this season happen. Now, LETS GO CO-YOTES!!!!!

    • Paul

      I live in Ontario & 3 years ago purchased a home in Buckeye. I went to 10 regular season games(1 in Buffalo) & 6 playoff games including 1 in Nashville. Since going to Coyotes games 3 years ago I have found myself becoming a big fan of the Coyotes & I have been pretty vocal about it here in Leafs territory. I have heard all the comments from many uninformed people about the Coyotes situation. In almost every case of someone who says they should just move, it is because they have not been there. It is undoubtedly one of the best facilities in the NHL. If the team has some success they will be supported & certainty is a big factor. You have trouble attracting players to a great city if they may end up in the Peg or QC (no offense to those cities but AZ has a slightly better climate). Look at Doan, he wants to stay but who can blame him for wanting to know if the team will stay. I am glad fans have fought back & are fighting for a good thing. I can assure you all the $$ I have spent & golf groups & friends I have brought would not have spent any of that $$ in Glendale if it was not for the Coyotes. It is time to put all this to rest, move on with a new owner & sign Shane Doan.

  • Doug

    Let’s go Coyotes! Great job PAC!

  • Karen

    Thank you Coyotes Pac, Glendale First, InformGlendale, the “Ravenous Coyotes Fans. Grew up with the Devils, moved out here and made the Coyotes our home team and would be thrilled to have this all over with. Not only so that we have hockey out here in the desert but also because I will still have a job along with all the others that work at the arena!

  • zLiMbiLLY

    LETS GO COYOTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!