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Somers Annexation Referendum Attempt Fails
On November 20, 2015, a resident of the Town of Somers filed a Petition with the Clerk/Treasurer seeking a referendum on the issue of annexation of certain portions of the Town of Somers into the Village of Somers under the terms of an Intergovernmental Agreement which was approved by the respective Boards of the Village and Town on October 20, 2015. The requirements for seeking a referendum pursuant to Chapter 66.0301(6)(c)(2), Wisconsin Statutes, have not been fulfilled and it is not necessary for the Somers Village/Town Clerk/Treasurer to order a referendum election.
At a joint public hearing on October 20, 2015, the Somers Village Board of Trustees and the Somers Town Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement. One provision in the Agreement annexed all the remaining Town property into the Village on December 31, 2015, with the exception of the Town “B” area, which annexes into the City of Kenosha in 2035 per a boundary agreement with the City of Kenosha.
Mr. Timothy Kitzman, Clerk/Treasurer and chief election official of the Village and Town of Somers, made a determination as to whether the Petitions filed were sufficient to require a referendum on this issue under Wisconsin Statutes. It was determined that the Petitions were insufficient for the following reasons:
1. Wisconsin Statutes dictate the format of the referendum Petitions. None of the Petitions filed were formatted to comply with Wisconsin Statues. No signature is valid under this Statute unless the signer satisfies the format requirements under the Statutes.
2. The threshold requirement for the number of signatures were not met. The minimum number of signatures of eligible electors required to sustain the request for a referendum election is 426. The Petitions, even before excluding some or all of the signatures due to the failure to comply with the Statutes as noted above were at least 47 signatures short of the requisite minimum.