Draft, as presented at the April 11, 2006 Oak Island Town Council Meeting

AN ACT TO ALLOW RECALL OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEMBERS OF THE TOWN OF OAK ISLAND.

Section 1. The Charter of the Town of Oak Island, S.L. 1999-66, is amended by adding a new section to read:
Sec. 5.4. Recall of mayor and council members by the people.
The mayor or any member of town council may be removed from office in the following manner:
(1)A recall petition committee may make and file with the supervisor of elections of the Brunswick County Board of Elections an affidavit containing the name of the official whose removal is sought and a general statement of the grounds alleged for removal. The supervisor of elections shall thereupon deliver to the recall petition committee making such affidavit copies of petitions for demanding such a removal, printed forms of which the supervisor of elections shall keep on hand. Such blank forms shall be issued by the supervisor of elections with his or her signature thereto attached and shall be dated and addressed to the Brunswick County Board of Elections, indicate the names and addresses of the recall petition committee members to whom issued, state the name of the official whose removal is sought, and shall contain the general statement of the grounds on which the removal is sought as alleged in the affidavit. A copy of the petition shall be promptly delivered to the town clerk, who shall enter the copy of the petition in a record book kept for that purpose in the office of the clerk.
(2)A recall petition committee representing all the petitioners shall be composed of five members who are registered voters of the town and signers of the petition concerned. The committee shall be responsible for circulation of the petition and for its assembling and filing in proper form.
(3)A recall petition to be effective must be returned and filed with the supervisor of elections of the Brunswick County Board of Elections within thirty (30) days after the filing of the affidavit, and to be sufficient must bear the signatures of registered voters of the town equal in number to at least twenty-five (25) per cent of the qualified voters of the town who voted at the last preceding general municipal election. The signatures to the petition need not all be appended to one paper, but each signer shall add to his signature his place of residence, giving the street and number.
(4)     It is the duty of the Brunswick County Board of Elections to investigate the sufficiency of any such petition and to certify the results of such investigation to the town clerk. The board of elections may employ such persons as it deems necessary to undertake such investigation and the reasonable cost of such investigation shall be reimbursed to the board of elections by the town. The board of elections may adopt such rules and regulations as it deems necessary or advisable concerning the validation of signatures appearing on the recall petition.
(5)     The Brunswick County Board of Elections shall complete its investigation and issue its certification of the results of such investigation within ten (10) days after the filing of any such petition, except that the board shall not be obligated to conduct an investigation in any thirty (30) day period immediately preceding or in any ten (10) day period immediately following a county-wide election. If, by the board's certification, the petition is shown to be insufficient, it may be amended within ten (10) days from the date of said certificate. The board shall, within ten (10) days after such amendment, make like examination of the amended petition, and if its certificate shall show the same to be insufficient, it shall be returned to the person filing the same, without prejudice, however, to the filing of a new petition to the same effect.
(6)Upon a determination that a sufficient recall petition has been submitted, the Brunswick County Board of Elections shall order and fix a date for holding a recall election. Any such election shall be held not less than sixty (60) nor more than ninety (90) days after the petition has been certified as being sufficient. If any other general or special election is scheduled within such period, the board shall schedule the special election at the same time. If the provisions of general law prohibit the holding of special elections during the time aforesaid, and no general or special election is otherwise scheduled during said period of time, then the board shall schedule said special recall election for some date within ten (10) days after the last day of said period of time during which special elections are prohibited by general law.
Notwithstanding the requirements of the first paragraph of this subdivision requiring an election to be held within sixty (60) to ninety (90) days after a petition has been certified as being sufficient, no recall election shall be scheduled during the time period beginning on the last Monday in June and ending on the first Monday in August in any calendar year.
If the sixty to ninety day time period during which an election is to be scheduled falls completely within the time period beginning on the last Monday in June and ending on the first Monday in August, the recall election shall be postponed and shall be scheduled within ten (10) days after the first Monday in August, unless otherwise prohibited by general law, in which case said election shall be scheduled within ten (10) days after the last day of said period of time during which special elections are prohibited by general law.
If the sixty to ninety day time period during which an election is to be scheduled falls partially but not completely within the period from the last Monday in June to the first Monday in August, a recall election shall be scheduled during the time period either before the last Monday in June or after the first Monday in August which otherwise complies with the sixty to ninety day requirement unless otherwise prohibited by general law, in which case the election shall be scheduled within ten (10) days after the last day of said period of time during which special elections are prohibited by general law or this Charter.
(7)The Brunswick County Board of Elections shall make, or cause to be made, publication for ten (10) days of notice and all arrangements for holding such election, and the same shall be conducted, returned, and the results thereof declared in all respects as other town elections in the Town of Oak Island. The reasonable costs of such election shall be reimbursed to the board of election by the town.
(8)The question of recalling any number of officials may be submitted at the same election, but, as to each such official, a separate petition shall be filed and there shall be an entirely separate ballot.
(9)The ballots used in a recall election shall submit the following propositions in the order indicated:
________ For the recall of (name and title of official).
________ Against the recall of (name and title of official).
(10)   If a majority of the votes cast on the question of recalling an official be against recall, the official shall continue in office for the remainder of the unexpired term, but, except as provided by subdivision (13) of this section, subject to the recall as before. If a majority of such votes is for the recall of the official designated on the ballot, the official shall, regardless of any defects in the recall petition, be deemed removed from office on the date the board of elections certifies the results of the recall election.
(11)If an official in regard to whom a sufficient recall petition is submitted to the board of elections shall resign before the election, or be removed as a result thereof, the vacancy so caused shall be filled in the manner provided by this charter for filling vacancies in such office, or if not provided by this Charter, in a manner provided by general law, except as provided in subdivision (14) of this section. But an official removed by the voters as the result of a recall election, or resigning after a sufficient petition for his recall has been submitted to the board of elections shall not be appointed or elected to fill the vacancy caused by his own removal or resignation.
(12)Such method of removal shall be cumulative and additional to any other method provided by law. In the event any official is recalled and any person is appointed or elected as his successor, the right of recall of such successor so appointed or elected shall be as in the case of an official originally elected.
(13)No recall petition shall be filed against an official within three (3) months after he takes office, nor within six (6) months before the expiration of the official's term, nor, in case of an official subjected to a recall election and not removed thereby, until at least six (6) months after that election.
(14)If the recall of two or more of the members of the town council, or the recall of the mayor and one or more members of the town council, shall be effected at a single recall election, the successors of the officials recalled shall be elected by the registered, qualified voters of the city at a special municipal election, and said successors shall serve for the unexpired part of the terms of the officials recalled. On the date it certifies the results of the recall election, the Brunswick County Board of Elections shall order and fix a date for holding the special municipal election for the successors and shall set the opening and closing dates for candidate filing for a minimum period of five (5) business days. Any such election shall be held as soon as possible in accordance with state law governing special elections and the same shall be conducted, returned, and the results thereof declared in all respects as other town elections in the Town of Oak Island. The reasonable costs of such election shall be reimbursed to the board of election by the town.

Section 2. This act becomes effective only if approved by the qualified voters of the Town of Oak Island in a referendum to be held on November 7, 2006. The question on the ballot shall be:
"[ ] FOR [ ] AGAINST
Amending the Charter of the Town of Oak Island to allow for Recall Elections for the Mayor and Town Council.”

By a vote of 3-2, the Oak Island Town Council approved to forward to Representative Frank Iler a draft of a proposed amendment to the Town Charter to allow for provisions for recall elections.  The Council stated that Rep. Iler should develop the proposed language for the amendment then return that draft to Town Council for approval.  Below is the language of a draft prepared in April of 2006 that did not go to the legislature due to lack of support by Council and has now been sent to Rep. Iler;

The proposed amendment passed in the House by a vote of 111 to 4.  It is now up to the Senate to approve the amendmend.  Should the Senate also approve the amendment, then an item will be added to the ballots in the November election for approval or denial by the voters.  If you are an absentee property owner without the ability to vote in the elections, but you have an acquaintance or contact in Oak Island who is a registered voter, then please forward your opinion on this issue to encourage them to vote yay or nay on this issue.  Any absentee property owner has the option also to write letters to the local newspapers and to contact the Oak Island Town Council voicing your opinions on this provision.