Any Class 8 municipality operating under a commission form of government with its members elected at large and which at large system has been decreed to be in violation of the federal Voting Rights Act by a court of law may, by an ordinance duly adopted not less than three months prior to the regular municipal election, adopt a mayor-council form of government with the mayor elected at large and a five-member council elected from single-member districts. The ordinance shall divide the municipality into five single-member districts of nearly equal population and shall provide that candidates for election for a place on the council shall have resided within the district from which he or she seeks election for a period of 90 days immediately preceding the date of the election, and shall continue to reside in the district he or she represents so long as he or she remains a member of said council. Only electors residing within a district shall be entitled to vote for candidates seeking election for said district.
The ordinance establishing the districts shall describe the territory composing each district and its boundary line shall be the centerline of streets or other well-defined boundaries.
The governing body of a Class 8 municipality may, by resolution adopted within 60 days after the date on which the United States Justice Department determines not to interpose objection to this article, provide for a referendum of the registered voters of the city or town to determine public opinion as to whether the candidate elected mayor at the 1996 municipal election, and thereafter, shall serve in a full-time capacity. Except as otherwise provided herein, any referendum conducted pursuant to this article shall comply with general municipal election laws for special elections.
At the referendum, the proposition to be submitted shall be printed in plain prominent type on ballots separate and distinct from ballots used for any other office or question and shall read substantially as follows:
Check one of the following:
Do you favor the Office of Mayor of the City (Town) of _______ being a full-time position with the City (Town) of _______ for the person elected at the 1996 municipal election and thereafter?
Yes ___ No ___.
The voter shall mark the ballot with a cross mark (x) after the proposition which expresses his or her choice. If voting machines are used at any voting place in the referendum, the proposition may, at the discretion of the election commission or other body or official having charge of the conduct of municipal elections, be submitted as separate propositions on the voting machines.
If a majority of voters vote in favor of the mayor of the Class 8 municipality being full-time, the governing body of the city may provide, by ordinance, that the mayor of the Class 8 municipality shall serve in a full-time capacity, until such time, if any, that the municipality subsequently holds a referendum on the issue as provided by Section 11-44F-25.
Upon certification of the results of the referendum by the election official, the governing body of the municipality shall, at least six months prior to the next regularly scheduled election, establish the salary of the mayor as provided by general law.
In the event the mayor is serving on a full-time basis and a vacancy occurs in the office of mayor, the city council may provide, by resolution, that the officer who fills the vacancy would not be required to serve on a full-time basis for the remainder of that term.
In the event that the governing body of any Class 8 municipality, which has adopted an ordinance pursuant to Section 11-44F-22, shall later determine that it would be in the best interests of the municipality that a subsequent referendum be held to reconsider the status of the mayor as a part-time position in such city (town), then the governing body may, by resolution, provide for a subsequent referendum upon the issue and, if so provided, the ballot shall be substantially as set forth in Section 11-44F-21, except that the question presented shall read substantially as follows:
Check one of the following:
Do you favor that the office of mayor of the City (Town) of _______ shall no longer be required to be a full-time position?
Yes ___ No ___.
If a majority of the voters voting cast their votes in favor of no longer requiring the position of mayor to be full time, then the governing body of the municipality may adopt an ordinance in effect repealing the previous ordinance requiring the mayor to serve in a full-time position, and the ordinance shall become effective when the next mayor takes office. The votes shall be canvassed and certified in the same manner as provided by Section 11-44F-23 and the governing body shall establish the salary of the mayor at least six months prior to the next regularly scheduled municipal election.
All laws and parts of laws, general, local, or special, relating to or affecting the Class 8 municipality, its powers, duties, functions, and property, in force when this article takes effect, are hereby continued in effect, and this article shall be supplemental to all laws relating to the exercise of powers, functions, and duties of the mayor of the Class 8 municipality.
The municipality shall thereafter and as provided herein be governed by a mayor elected at large and a five-member council elected from single-member districts, and shall have the same powers and duties as other mayor-council municipalities organized under Title 11, as amended, and any other powers and duties not inconsistent with this chapter which may have therefore been granted to such municipality.