Committee of Petitioners for a Referendum on Wildwood Ordinance 828-10 v. City of Wildwood

Colin G Bell

Case Conclusion Date:February 15, 2011

Practice Area:Government

Outcome:Judgment for Plaintiff

Description:In late 20010, the Wildwood City Commission passed an ordinance that dramatically reorganized the City’s police department. A group of voters objecting to City Commission’s plan formed a Committee of Petitioners and began circulating a petition to require the City to submit the ordinance to a referendum vote by the public. Although only 160 signatures were required, the Committee of Petitioners ultimately obtained 275 signatures on a referendum petition and submitted to the City. While the City Clerk reviewed and approved that petition, the City Commission rejected it and refused to hold a referendum election. Mr. Bell, representing the Committee of Petitioners, filed a lawsuit asking a judge to order the City Commission to submit the ordinance to a “yes or no” vote by the people of the City of Wildwood. Despite strong opposition from the City, the Court ruled in favor of Mr. Bell and the Committee of Petitioners and ordered that referendum election be held on the ordinance. Now the voters of the City of Wildwood will ultimately decide whether or not their police department should be reorganized