Patriots confident they have signatures to force special election

CNJ staff

The High Plains Patriots don’t have a verified count, but the citizens group believes it will be able to file enough signatures to force a special election on the city’s affordable housing plan.

“They’re finally flooding in,” said High Plains Patriots President Kim Runyan on Friday afternoon. “We’re right at the amount we need. We’re just in the process of verifying it.

“I’m comfortable with what we have. I just don’t have a count.”

Clovis city code allows any ordinance to go to a ballot if, within 30 days of its approval by the Clovis City Commission, there are signatures submitted from registered Clovis voters exceeding 20 percent of the previous municipal election turnout.

That would require 456 signatures turned in by Monday, the first business day after the 30-day window on the city’s affordable housing plan.

If the signatures are verified, a special election must be scheduled within 60 days of the filing. That would require an election on or before Aug. 5.

The plan, approved May 5, is an amendment to the state’s anti-donation clause, which otherwise says a city cannot, “directly or indirectly lend or pledge its credit or make any donation to or in aid of any person, association or public or private corporation.” Cities, including Clovis, have created a similar amendment for economic development ventures.