Bill S8251-2009

Relates to consolidation and dissolution of local government entities

Relates to consolidation and dissolution of local government entities; makes technical corrections.

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  • Jun 17, 2010: REFERRED TO RULES

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BILL NUMBER:S8251

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general municipal law, in relation to the consolidation and dissolution of local government

PURPOSE: Landmark legislation to simplify and standardize New York's rules and procedures for consolidation or dissolution of local government entities was signed into law as Chapter 74 of the laws of 2009. Chapter 74 replaced a myriad of differing rules for consolidation and dissolution with a more uniform set of procedures to implement government or citizen sponsored reorganization efforts.

This legislation makes technical amendments and other changes to Chapter 74 to clarify some procedural questions, provide voters more information, and reduce costs associated with the consolidation and dissolution process. The goal of these changes is to make the review and implementation of reorganizations plans under Chapter 74 function with more clarity and efficiency.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: * Date is specified by which number of voters is counted to calculate percentage of signature requirement for petitions under Chapter 74.

* Establishes that election dates for proposed consolidation or dissolution referenda shall be on the November regular election date or the regular village election date; petition submission deadlines would correspond to submission deadlines for those elections; provides for a longer period of time to obtain signatures for consolidation or dissolution petitions, sixty days, rather than the thirty-seven days provided for candidate petitions.

* Provides that an outline of a tentative plan or prospectus of a elector initiated consolidation or dissolution proposal be submitted at the time of filing petitions to provide voters more information regarding the referendum.

* Changes the time allowed for research and drafting of the implementation plan for a consolidation or dissolution after voter approval from 6 months to 15 months.

* Provides parity in petitioning rules between initial consolidation or dissolution referenda and second vote process. (signature requirement - 10%, days to obtain signatures - 60 days)

* Consolidation or dissolution process initiated by local government shall not be interrupted by petition-initiated proposals except in cases where the government initiated proposal's planning process is

longer than 15 months. In those cases petition initiated proposals are not barred.

EXISTING LAW AND BACKGROUND:

Date is specified by which number of voters is counted to calculate percentage of signature requirement for petitions under Chapter 74 For purposes of this calculation the date of the last November election shall be used.

Dates for proposed consolidation or dissolution referenda; petition submission deadlines This legislation establishes two dates when consolidation and dissolution referenda could take place each year, the regular November general election date or the regular village election date. The legislation also standardizes the petition circulation period for elector initiated to correspond to the deadline for submitting petitions for November and village elections but provides for a 60day window to circulate petitions rather than the 37-day window provided for November election signature gathering.

Chapter 74 allows elector initiated votes to take place at any time of the year which would provide added cost to taxpayers for holding special elections. Turnout for special elections is uniformly lower than regular elections so that the change included in this legislation will allow for greater voter participation in consolidation and dissolution votes. In addition, by targeting consolidation and dissolution votes statewide on two election dates it will bring more public attention to reorganization initiatives. The concern had also been expressed that under Chapter 74 votes could be planned for dates, such as the summer, where voter turnout would be very low resulting in outcomes not reflective of significant citizen input.

Outline of tentative plan or prospectus for consolidation or dissolution proposals This legislation provides for a tentative plan or prospectus outline for elector initiated consolidation and dissolution votes. Chapter 74 does not require a plan be presented for when an initial elector initiated consolidation and dissolution vote is taken. While a full plan would be a barrier to placing initiatives on the ballot this legislation requires a brief outline of what the sponsors expect the framework of the reorganization to be. This information would enhance the public dialogue before a referendum and provide voters with more detail to base their decision. The full details of the reorganization would still be developed after voter approval in the process outlined in Chapter 74.

Length of time for implementation plan

This legislation expands the window for development of the consolidation or dissolution plan from six months to fifteen months. NYCOM reports that municipally sponsored plans generally take at least a year to research, determine contractual and other obligations that require transition and draft. A year and quarter window allows for a reasonable period of time to address complex transition issues but does not preclude earlier implementation where feasible.

Parity in petitioning rules To provide supporters and opponents of a citizen-sponsored reorganization equal standing in the process this legislation makes the rules for petitioning the same for first and second vote efforts, sixty days to obtain signatures, 10% of the registered voters to trigger a referendum. Chapter 74 omitted any calendar for obtaining signatures for the first vote and signatures of 10% of the voters and provided 45 days to collect signatures of 25% of the Voters for a second vote.

Consolidation or dissolution process initiated by local government shall not be interrupted by petition-initiated proposals This legislation clarifies that a reorganization initiated by local government entities would be completed before new petition-initiated reorganization could be commenced. To have multiple reorganizations proceeding Simultaneously Would be expensive for taxpayers and confusing for voters. An exception to this provision is included in this legislation to provide that where consolidation or dissolution initiated by a local government entity includes a post referendum planning process that is to take more the a year and a quarter, voter initiated petition proposals would not be barred.

JUSTIFICATION: Chapter 74 provided a much needed consolidation and reform of New York's rules for consolidation and dissolution of local government entities. This legislation provides clarity, consistency, and more information to the voters in ways that will allow the law to function more effectively.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to New York State. Savings anticipated for local governments by holding referenda votes on regular election days and by clarifying provisions of the law.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become law; provided , however, that any signatures made on petitions for consolidation or dissolution which are initiated prior to such effective date and which are otherwise valid shall be counted.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 8251 IN SENATE June 17, 2010 ___________
Introduced by Sen. OPPENHEIMER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the general municipal law, in relation to the consol- idation and dissolution of local government THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 757 of the general munici- pal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, are amended and a new subdivision 2-a is added to read as follows: 1. The electors of two or more local government entities may commence a consolidation proceeding by filing an original petition, containing not less than the number of signatures provided for in subdivision two of this section and in the form provided for in subdivision three of this section, with the clerk of the town in which the entities or the greater portion of their territory are located, except that if one or more of the entities to be consolidated is a village the original peti- tion of electors from the village shall be filed with the clerk of the village. Accompanying the filed petition shall be a cover sheet contain- ing the name, address and telephone number of an individual who signed the petition and who will serve as a contact person. A PETITION MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION IF A RESOLUTION INITIATING THE PROCESS FOR CONSOLIDATION OF TWO OR MORE GOVERNMENT ENTITIES HAS BEEN ADOPTED PURSUANT TO SECTIONS SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY-ONE AND SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY-TWO OF THIS TITLE UNTIL SUCH PROCESS HAS BEEN COMPLETED; EXCEPT THAT SUCH PETITIONS SHALL NOT BE BARRED IN CASES WHERE THE POST REFEREN- DUM PLANNING PROCESS FOR A LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY INITIATED CONSOL- IDATION IS TO TAKE MORE THAN FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY DAYS. 2. The petition shall contain the signatures of at least ten percent of the number of electors, AS OF THE DATE OF THE LAST NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION or five thousand electors, whichever is less, in each local government entity to be consolidated; provided, however, that where the local government entity to be consolidated contains five hundred or fewer electors, the petition shall contain the signatures of at least
twenty percent of the number of electors. No signature on a petition is valid unless it is the original signature of an elector. 2-A. PETITIONS INITIATED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE FILED ON THE SAME DATE AND IN THE SAME MANNER AS NOMINATING AND DESIGNATING PETITIONS ARE FILED PURSUANT TO SECTION 6-158 OF THE ELECTION LAW. A SIGNATURE MADE EARLIER THAN SIXTY DAYS PRIOR TO THE LAST DAY TO FILE SUCH PETITIONS SHALL NOT BE COUNTED. S 2. The general municipal law is amended by adding a new section 757-a to read as follows: S 757-A. TENTATIVE PLAN OR PROSPECTUS. 1. THE CONTACT PERSON IDENTI- FIED ON THE COVER SHEET OF THE ORIGINAL PETITION SHALL FILE A TENTATIVE PLAN OR PROSPECTUS OF THE PROPOSED CONSOLIDATION WITH THE FILING OF THE PETITION. THE TENTATIVE PLAN OR PROSPECTUS WILL INCLUDE AN OUTLINE OF THE PROPOSED CONSOLIDATION AS CONTEMPLATED BY INDIVIDUALS PROPOSING SUCH CONSOLIDATION. 2. SUCH TENTATIVE PLAN OR PROSPECTUS CAN BE MODIFIED DURING THE PLAN- ING PROCESS THAT WOULD OCCUR UPON PASSAGE OF THE REFERENDUM. THE TENTA- TIVE PLAN OR PROSPECTUS SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC WITH OTHER NOTICE INFORMATION AS PROVIDED IN SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED SIXTY-ONE OF THIS TITLE. THE TENTATIVE PLAN OR PROSPECTUS SHALL INCLUDE STATEMENTS THAT OUTLINE THE STRUCTURE OF THE CONSOLIDATION ON THE FOLLOWING ISSUES: (A) THE NAME OF EACH LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY TO BE CONSOLIDATED; (B) THE NAME OF THE PROPOSED CONSOLIDATED LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY, WHICH NAME SHALL BE SUCH AS TO DISTINGUISH IT FROM THE NAME OF ANY OTHER LIKE UNIT OF GOVERNMENT IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK (EXCEPT THE NAME OF ANY ONE OF THE ENTITIES TO BE CONSOLIDATED); (C) THE RIGHTS, DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS OF THE PROPOSED CONSOLIDATED LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY; (D) THE TERRITORIAL BOUNDARIES OF THE PROPOSED CONSOLIDATED LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY; (E) THE GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION OF THE PROPOSED CONSOLIDATED LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY INSOFAR AS IT CONCERNS ELECTED AND APPOINTED OFFICIALS AND PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, ALONG WITH A TRANSITIONAL PLAN AND SCHEDULE FOR ELECTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS OF OFFICIALS; (F) A FISCAL ESTIMATE OF THE COST OF AND SAVINGS WHICH MAY BE REALIZED FROM CONSOLIDATION INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO EFFICIENCIES, RESTRUC- TURING, OR DISCONTINUING SERVICES AND PROJECTED CHANGES IN AID FROM THE STATE; (G) THE CONTEMPLATED DISPOSITION OF EACH ENTITY'S ASSETS; (H) THE CONTEMPLATED DISPOSITION OF EACH ENTITY'S LIABILITIES AND INDEBTEDNESS, BONDED AND OTHERWISE; AND (I) CONTEMPLATED TRANSITION OR DISCONTINUANCE OF LOCAL LAWS, ORDI- NANCES, RESOLUTIONS, ORDERS AND THE LIKE, WITHIN THE PROPOSED CONSOL- IDATED LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY. S 3. Section 758 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: S 758. Conduct of referendum. 1. A referendum required by [sections] SECTION seven hundred fifty-five or seven hundred fifty-seven of this title shall be placed before the electors of each of the local govern- ment entities to be consolidated at [a special election to be held not less than sixty or more than ninety days after the enactment of a resol- ution calling for such referendum, provided, however, that in cases where a town or village general election falls within such period, the question may be considered during a town or village general election.
2. The referendum may be held in each local government entity on the same day, or on different days, however, not more than twenty days apart. 3.]
EITHER THE GENERAL ELECTION IN NOVEMBER OR AT A VILLAGE GENERAL ELECTION. 2. Notice of the referendum shall be given to the electors of each local government entity to be consolidated by publication in a newspaper having a general circulation within the boundaries of each entity at least once a week for four consecutive weeks immediately prior to the referendum. The notice shall include, but not be limited to: (a) a summary of the contents of the resolution and joint consol- idation agreement or petition for consolidation, as the case may be; (b) a statement as to where may be examined a copy of the resolution and joint consolidation agreement or petition for consolidation, as the case may be; (c) the names of the local government entities to be consolidated and a description of their territory; (d) with respect to a resolution calling for a referendum under section seven hundred fifty-five of this title only, the name of the proposed consolidated local government entity; (e) the time and place or places at which the referendum will be held; and (f) such other matters as may be necessary to call, provide for and give notice of the referendum and to provide for the conduct thereof and the canvass of the returns thereupon. [4.] 3. The referendum question placed before the electors of each local government entity to be consolidated shall be in a form reading substantially as follows: "Shall (insert type and name of local government entity) be consol- idated with (insert type and name of local government entity or enti- ties)? YES ____ NO ____" [5.] 4. In any referendum held pursuant to this title, each local government entity to be consolidated shall bear only the costs of hold- ing such referendum in its respective entity and shall not be required to bear the costs of a referendum held in any other entity. [6.] 5. In any referendum held pursuant to this title, and except as otherwise specified herein, the referendum shall be conducted in the same manner as other municipal elections or referendums for the local government entities to be consolidated. S 4. Subdivision 1 of section 760 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: 1. In the case of a proposed consolidation of local government enti- ties properly initiated by petition of electors pursuant to section seven hundred fifty-seven of this title, if a majority of the electors voting in a referendum held in each of the local government entities to be consolidated vote in favor of consolidation, the entities' governing body or bodies shall meet within thirty days after certification of the favorable vote and, within [one hundred eighty] FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY days of such meeting, prepare and approve by resolution a proposed elector initiated consolidation plan. S 5. Subdivisions 1, 2 and 3 of section 763 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, are amended to read as follows:
1. Local government entities consolidated pursuant to an elector initiated [consolidated] CONSOLIDATION plan shall continue to be governed as before consolidation until the effective date of the consol- idation specified in such plan, which date shall be no less than [forty-five] SIXTY days after final approval of such plan pursuant to subdivision three of section seven hundred sixty-two or subdivision four of section seven hundred sixty-four of this title. 2. Notwithstanding subdivision one of this section, the elector initi- ated consolidation plan shall not take effect if, no later than [forty- five] SIXTY days after final approval thereof pursuant to subdivision three of section seven hundred sixty-two or subdivision four of section seven hundred sixty-four of this title, electors of a local government entity to be consolidated pursuant to such plan shall: (a) file an original petition, containing not less than the number of signatures provided for in subdivision three of this section, seeking a referendum on the question whether the elector initiated consolidation plan shall take effect, with the clerk of the town in which the entity or the greater portion of its territory is located, except that if the entity is a village the original petition of electors from the village shall be filed with the clerk of the village; and (b) thereafter less than a majority of the electors in the entity vote in the affirmative on such question at a referendum. 3. The petition shall be circulated, signed and authenticated in substantial compliance with the provisions of section seven hundred fifty-seven of this title, shall contain the signatures of at least [twenty-five] TEN percent of the number of electors or fifteen thousand electors, whichever is less, in the local government entity to be consolidated, and shall be accompanied by a cover sheet containing the name, address and telephone number of an individual who signed the peti- tion and who will serve as a contact person. S 6. Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 779 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009 are amended and a new subdi- vision 2-a is added to read as follows: 1. The electors of a local government entity may commence a dissol- ution proceeding by filing an original petition, containing not less than the number of signatures provided for in subdivision two of this section and in the form provided for in subdivision three of this section, with the clerk of the town in which the entity or the greater portion of its territory is located, except that if the entity is a village the original petition of electors from the village shall be filed with the clerk of the village. Accompanying the filed petition shall be a cover sheet containing the name, address and telephone number of an individual who signed the petition and who will serve as a contact person. A PETITION MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION IF A RESOLUTION INITIATING THE DISSOLUTION PROCESS HAS BEEN ADOPTED PURSUANT TO SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY-FOUR OF THIS TITLE UNTIL SUCH PROCESS HAS BEEN COMPLETED; EXCEPT THAT SUCH PETITIONS SHALL NOT BE BARRED IN CASES WHERE THE POST REFERENDUM PLANNING PROCESS FOR A LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY INITIATED DISSOLUTION IS TO TAKE MORE THAN FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY DAYS. 2. The petition shall contain the signatures of at least ten percent of the number of electors, AS OF THE DATE OF THE LAST NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION or five thousand electors, whichever is less, in the local government entity to be dissolved; provided, however, that where the local government entity to be dissolved contains five hundred or fewer electors, the petition shall contain the signatures of at least twenty
percent of the number of electors. No signature on a petition is valid unless it is an original signature of an elector. 2-A. PETITIONS INITIATED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE FILED ON THE SAME DATE AND IN THE SAME MANNER AS NOMINATING AND DESIGNATING PETITIONS ARE FILED PURSUANT TO SECTION 6-158 OF THE ELECTION LAW. A SIGNATURE MADE EARLIER THAN SIXTY DAYS PRIOR TO THE LAST DAY TO FILE SUCH PETITIONS SHALL NOT BE COUNTED. S 7. The general municipal law is amended by adding a new section 779-a to read as follows: S 779-A. TENTATIVE PLAN OR PROSPECTUS. 1. THE CONTACT PERSON IDENTI- FIED ON THE COVER SHEET OF THE ORIGINAL PETITION SHALL FILE A TENTATIVE PLAN OR PROSPECTUS OF THE PROPOSED DISSOLUTION WITH THE FILING OF THE PETITION. THE TENTATIVE PLAN OR PROSPECTUS WILL INCLUDE AN OUTLINE OF THE PROPOSED DISSOLUTION AS CONTEMPLATED BY INDIVIDUALS PROPOSING SUCH DISSOLUTION. 2. SUCH TENTATIVE PLAN OR PROSPECTUS CAN BE MODIFIED DURING THE PLAN- NING PROCESS THAT WOULD OCCUR UPON PASSAGE OF THE REFERENDUM. THE TENTA- TIVE PLAN OR PROSPECTUS SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC WITH OTHER NOTICE INFORMATION AS PROVIDED IN SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED EIGHTY-THREE OF THIS TITLE. THE TENTATIVE PLAN OR PROSPECTUS SHALL INCLUDE STATEMENTS THAT OUTLINE THE STRUCTURE OF THE DISSOLUTION ON THE FOLLOWING ISSUES: (A) THE NAME OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY TO BE DISSOLVED; (B) THE TERRITORIAL BOUNDARIES OF THE ENTITY; (C) THE TYPE AND/OR CLASS OF THE ENTITY; (D) A FISCAL ESTIMATE OF THE COST OF DISSOLUTION INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO EFFICIENCIES, RESTRUCTURING, OR DISCONTINUING SERVICES AND PROJECTED CHANGES IN AID FROM THE STATE; (E) ANY PLAN FOR THE TRANSFER OR ELIMINATION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES; (F) CONTEMPLATED DISPOSITION OF THE ENTITY'S ASSETS; (G) CONTEMPLATED DISPOSITION OF THE ENTITY'S LIABILITIES AND INDEBT- EDNESS, BONDED AND OTHERWISE; (H) ANY AGREEMENTS ENTERED INTO WITH THE TOWN OR TOWNS IN WHICH THE ENTITY IS SITUATED IN ORDER TO CARRY OUT THE DISSOLUTION; (I) THE MANNER AND MEANS BY WHICH THE RESIDENTS OF THE ENTITY WILL CONTINUE TO BE FURNISHED MUNICIPAL SERVICES FOLLOWING THE ENTITY'S DISSOLUTION; (J) FINDINGS AS TO WHETHER ANY LOCAL LAWS, ORDINANCES, RULES OR REGU- LATIONS OF THE ENTITY SHALL REMAIN IN EFFECT AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE DISSOLUTION; AND (K) ANY OTHER MATTER DESIRABLE OR NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE DISSOL- UTION. S 8. Section 780 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: S 780. Conduct of referendum. 1. A referendum on a proposed dissol- ution required by sections seven hundred seventy-seven or seven hundred seventy-nine of this title shall be placed before the electors in the local government entity to be dissolved at [a special election to be held not less than sixty or more than ninety days after the enactment of a resolution calling for the referendum, provided, however, that in cases where a town or village general election falls within such period, the referendum question may be considered during a town or village general election] EITHER THE GENERAL ELECTION IN NOVEMBER OR AT A VILLAGE GENERAL ELECTION. 2. Notice of the referendum shall be given to the electors of the local government entity to be dissolved by publication in a newspaper having a general circulation within the boundaries of the entity at
least once a week for four consecutive weeks immediately prior to the referendum. The notice shall include, but not be limited to: (a) a summary of the contents of the resolution and dissolution plan or petition for dissolution, as the case may be; (b) a statement as to where may be examined copies of the resolution and dissolution plan or petition for dissolution, as the case may be; (c) the name of the local government entity to be dissolved and a statement fully describing its territory; (d) the time and place or places at which the referendum will be held; and (e) such other matters as may be necessary to call, provide for and give notice of the referendum and to provide for the conduct thereof and the canvass of the returns thereupon. 3. The referendum question placed before the electors of the local government entity to be dissolved shall be in a form reading substan- tially as follows: "Shall (insert type and name of local government entity) be dissolved? YES ____ NO ____" 4. In any referendum held pursuant to this title, the local government entity to be dissolved shall bear the costs associated with the conduct of such referendum. 5. In any referendum held pursuant to this title, and except as other- wise specified herein, the referendum shall be conducted in the same manner as other municipal elections or referendums for the local govern- ment entity affected by the proposed dissolution. S 9. Subdivision 1 of section 782 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: 1. In the case of a proposed dissolution of a local government entity properly initiated by petition of electors pursuant to section seven hundred seventy-nine of this title, if a majority of the electors voting at a referendum vote in favor of dissolution, the entity's governing body shall meet within thirty days after certification of the favorable vote and, within [one hundred eighty] FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY days of such meeting, prepare and approve a proposed elector initiated dissolution plan. S 10. Subdivisions 1, 2 and 3 of section 785 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, are amended to read as follows: 1. A local government entity dissolved pursuant to an elector initi- ated dissolution plan shall continue to be governed as before dissol- ution until the effective date of the dissolution specified in the elec- tor initiated dissolution plan, which date shall be no less than [forty-five] SIXTY days after final approval of such plan pursuant to subdivision three of section seven hundred eighty-four or subdivision three of section seven hundred eighty-six of this title. 2. Notwithstanding subdivision one of this section, the elector initi- ated dissolution plan shall not take effect if, no later than [forty- five] SIXTY days after final approval of such plan pursuant to subdivi- sion three of section seven hundred eighty-four or subdivision three of section seven hundred eighty-six of this title, electors of the local government entity to be dissolved shall: (a) file an original petition, containing not less than the number of signatures provided for in subdivision three of this section, seeking a referendum on the question whether the elector initiated dissolution plan shall take effect, with the clerk of the town in which the entity
or the greater portion of its territory is located, except that if the entity is a village the original petition of electors from the village shall be filed with the clerk of the village; and (b) thereafter less than a majority of the electors vote in the affir- mative on such question at a referendum. 3. The petition shall be circulated, signed and authenticated in substantial compliance with the provisions of section seven hundred seventy-nine of this title, shall contain the signatures of at least [twenty-five] TEN percent of the number of electors or fifteen thousand electors, whichever is less, in the local government entity to be dissolved, and shall be accompanied by a cover sheet containing the name, address and telephone number of an individual who signed the peti- tion and who will serve as a contact person. S 11. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however that any signatures made on petitions for consolidation or dissolution which are initiated prior to such effective date and which are otherwise valid shall be counted.

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