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H.505

AN ACT RELATING TO AMENDING THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF BURLINGTON

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  CHARTER APPROVAL

The general assembly approves the City of Burlington charter amendments as provided in this act.  Proposals of amendment were approved by the voters on March 1, 2005.

Sec. 2.  24 App. V.S.A. chapter 3 § 5 is amended to read:

§ 5.  ELECTION TO BE BY BALLOT; PLURALITY REQUIRED FOR

        METHOD OF ELECTION; RUNOFF ELECTIONS

(a)  The election of all officers mentioned in the two (2) preceding sections city councilors and school commissioners shall be by ballot, and the person or persons receiving a plurality of all votes cast for any office aforesaid shall, except as hereinafter provided, be declared elected thereto.  However, if no person receives at least forty 40 percent of all votes cast for any office aforesaid, no one shall be declared elected and a runoff election shall be held.  The only candidates in the runoff election shall be the two persons receiving the greater number of votes or, in case of a tie, the person persons receiving the greatest number of votes and or the persons receiving the second greatest number of votes.  The chief administrative officer shall within seven days warn a runoff election to be held not less than twelve 12 days nor more than twenty 20 days after the date of the warning.  The warning shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city and posted in a public place.  The person or persons receiving a plurality of all the votes cast in a runoff election shall be declared elected.

(b)  All elections of mayor shall be by ballot, using a system of instant runoff voting without a separate runoff election.  The chief administrative officer shall implement an instant runoff voting protocol according to these guidelines:

(1)  The ballot shall give voters the option of ranking candidates in order of preference.

(2)  If a candidate receives a majority (over 50 percent) of first preferences, that candidate is elected.

(3)  If no candidate receives a majority of first preferences, an instant runoff retabulation shall be performed by the board of civil authority within five business days of the election.  The instant runoff retabulation shall be conducted in rounds.  In each round, each voter’s ballot shall count as a single vote for whichever continuing candidate the voter has ranked highest.  The candidate with the fewest votes after each round shall be eliminated until only two candidates remain, with the candidate then receiving the greatest number of votes being elected.

(4)  The city council may adopt additional regulations consistent with this subsection to implement these standards.

Sec. 3.  24 App. V.S.A. chapter 3 § 22 is amended to read:

§ 22.  BALLOTS

For all city or ward elections, and also for the election of justices of the peace in said city, the chief administrative officer shall prepare all official ballots, consistent with the requirements of any regulation adopted under section 5 of this chapter, and otherwise in the same manner and subject to all the provisions of the laws of this state providing for and regulating the preparation and distribution of official ballots in towns and cities; provided, however, that said chief administrative officer shall cause to be printed for every ward in said city not less than sixty 60 ballots for every fifty 50 names or fractional part thereof on the voting list prepared and posted in such ward for any such election; and further provided that said chief administrative officer shall deliver to the inspectors of election in each ward on the day of such election and before the hour for opening the polls in said ward, such number of blocks of ballots containing one hundred each as shall nearest represent two‑thirds of the whole number required to be printed for such ward, and shall retain the balance of the ballots for each ward so prepared.

Sec. 4.  24 App. V.S.A. chapter 3 § 62(f)(1) is amended to read:

(f)(1)  The chief administrative officer, when authorized and directed by resolution of the city council, may pledge the credit of the city by issuing negotiable orders, warrants, notes or bonds in an amount not to exceed in the aggregate seven hundred fifty thousand dollars ($750,000.00) $1 million in any fiscal year for the purpose of providing working capital and capital improvements, additions and replacements required for the efficient and economical operation of the city and its departments, other than the electric light department and the water and wastewater divisions of the public works department.  Provided, however, for the fiscal years ending on June 30, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 that $500,000.00 of such $750,000.00 maximum authority may be utilized only for the purpose of capital improvements for the Parks and Recreation and Library Departments.  If any of such annual borrowing authority is used to provide working capital, notes shall be issued in anticipation of the receipt of city revenue and shall mature within two (2) years from the date of issue, and may be renewed or refunded by the issue of other notes maturing within a similar period whenever such action is deemed expedient.  If any of such annual borrowing authority is used to provide capital improvements, additions and replacements, the negotiable orders, warrants, notes or bonds issued for such purposes shall be of such denominations, payable at such time or times, at such rate of interest, and to be sold and registered in such manner and under such terms and conditions as shall be established by resolution of the city council.

Sec. 5.  24 App. V.S.A. chapter 3 § 63 is amended to read:

§ 63.  COUNCIL MAY PLEDGE CREDIT OF CITY WHEN

     AUTHORIZED BY VOTERS TO DO SO

(a)  Whenever the legal voters of said city, by two-thirds vote of all voters present and voting on the question at any special or annual city meeting duly warned for the purpose, or, if the purpose shall be the making of an improvement relating to a public school by a majority vote of all voters present and voting on the question, shall give authority to the city council thereof to pledge the credit of said city for any purpose by issuing its negotiable orders, warrants, notes or bonds, or whenever the city council shall determine by resolution, upon prior recommendation of the board of light commissioners, that it is necessary during a fiscal year to pledge the credit of the city by issuing its negotiable orders, warrants, notes or bonds in an amount not to exceed in the aggregate two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00) $1 million in any such fiscal year for the purpose of providing capital improvements, additions and replacements required for the efficient and economical operation of the electric light department, said city shall have power and authority to issue its negotiable orders, warrants, notes or bonds, and to prescribe whether such bonds shall be registered or have interest coupons attached, to the amount, not to exceed the limit prescribed by the general laws of the state, for which authority has been given as aforesaid to so pledge the credit of said city; such notes or bonds to be of such denominations, payable at such time or times; and at such a rate of interest, and to be sold and registered in such manner and under such terms and conditions as shall be established by resolution of said city council.

(b)  Notwithstanding the above subsection (a) of this section, however, a city council resolution authorizing the credit of the city to be pledged in an amount not to exceed two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00) $1 million in a fiscal year for the operation of the electric light department as aforesaid shall not give the city power to so pledge its credit until forty-four (44) 44 days have passed following the effective date of such resolution.  If during such forty-four-day 44‑day period a petition is filed with the chief administrative officer signed by not less than five (5) per cent percent of the qualified voters of the city requesting a referendum vote on whether the credit of the city will be pledged in accordance with the city council resolution, the credit of the city shall not be pledged pursuant thereto unless a majority of the qualified voters of the city present and voting at a duly warned annual or special city meeting vote to affirm such city council resolution.  Upon receipt of a proper petition, a special city meeting shall be called by the city council within sixty (60) 60 days from the date such petition is received, or if the next annual city meeting falls within the sixty (60) day 60‑day period, the city council shall include an article in the warning for such annual city meeting, to determine whether the voters will affirm such resolution.  If at such city meeting a majority of the qualified voters voting on the question affirm the action of the city council, the city shall have power to pledge its credit pursuant to the city council resolution as of the day following such city meeting.  If the city council resolution is not affirmed by a majority of the qualified voters voting on the question, the city shall not have power to pledge its credit in accordance with such resolution.

Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us