Sunday, June 24, 2018
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Election Commission To Meet Friday To Discuss Petition For Referendum

The Putnam County Election Commission will meet Friday to resume discussions on a petition that seeks to overturn a Cookeville City Council rezoning ordinance.

The ordinance rezoned property on West 9th and North Franklin to allow for a 160 unit student housing development to be built.

A Cookeville resident has submitted a petition requesting a referendum to be placed on the August election ballot to overturn the city council’s vote.

During last month’s election commission meeting, commissioners took no action on the petition due to an issue involving the number of signatures needed in order for the referendum to be placed on the ballot.

Election Administrator Debbie Stiedle said state law differs from the city’s charter on how many signatures are needed for the referendum to move forward.

State law would require the petition to be signed by 15-percent of the registered voters in the city of Cookeville. The city charter requires the petition to be signed by 25-percent of voters in the last municipal election.

There are 15,467 registered voters in the city and 5,357 people voted in the last municipal election.

The election commission is seeking advice from its lawyer on how to move forward, but the state has advised the commission to observe state law in determining the number of signatures needed.

The issue is expected to be answered during Friday’s meeting, which is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.