Glendale rejects Coyotes referendum petitions

Glendale rejects Coyotes referendum petitions

Published Jul. 16, 2012 4:59 p.m. ET

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Glendale City Clerk's Office on Monday rejected petitions that sought to put the Coyotes' pending arena management deal on the ballot in November, possibly clearing the way for the finalizing of the team's sale.

City officials said that the petitions missed the July 9 deadline by three days and lacked the required 1,862 signatures. The two Glendale residents who spearheaded the referendum turned in 1,568 signatures last Thursday.

Ken Jones and Joe Cobb said they wanted to give voters a chance to decide whether to overturn Glendale's 20-year, $324 million lease agreement with potential Coyotes buyer Greg Jamison that was approved last month. They are disputing the deadline set by the city, claiming that the forms to collect signatures weren't available for nearly a week, as well as the number of signatures they were required to turn in. The requirement was set by the city charter at 10 percent of the previous "citywide" election as defined by state law, which Glendale says was in 2008; the residents believe that the 2010 election, which had a lower turnout, also qualified.

According to the Arizona Republic, Jones and Cobb have not yet decided if they will sue Glendale over the petition rejection. They are required by state law to decide within five days. Jones said that if they do not sue, they would consider an effort to add a surcharge or other revenue-generating increase to the cost of Coyotes tickets to minimize the deal's impact on taxpayers.

The NHL, which owns the Coyotes, said recently that it is still working to finalize the team's sale to Jamison, the former CEO of the San Jose Sharks.