Types of Petitions#
In an effort to assist citizens with the initiative process, the City Clerk's Office has developed Initiative Guidelines, which attempt to explain the process in a simple chronological manner. The Fort Collins City Charter grants the registered electors of Fort Collins the power to propose ordinances or resolutions to the City Council, and, if the Council fails to adopt such proposed measure, to adopt or reject such ordinance or resolution at the polls.
Note: The Initiative Guidelines do not apply to Charter Amendments, which are governed by State Statute. Please consult with the City Clerk's Office regarding the process for Charter Amendments.
In an effort to assist citizens with the referendum process, the City Clerk's Office has developed Referendum Guidelines (pdf format), which attempt to explain the process in a simple chronological manner. The Fort Collins City Charter grants the registered electors of Fort Collins the power to refer a Council-adopted Ordinance to the voters for approval or rejection.
Citizens may exercise the power to recall an elected official. The Recall Guidelines (pdf format), explain the process in a simple chronological manner. The Recall Guidelines are currently under revision, but the basic information is still the same.
Note: The question of recall is a ballot issue and is subject to certain campaign regulations.
The table below lists the current Councilmembers and Mayor, and shows relevant dates and numbers required for signatures and eligibility.
Seat Councilmember Date that Term Began Number of Votes Cast for All Candidates Required Number of Valid Signatures* Earliest Date Recall Could Occur** Latest Date Recall Could Occur*** Mayor Jeni Arndt 01/09/2024 34,950 8,738 01/09/2025 07/13/2025 District 1 Susan Gutowsky 04/27/2021 6,813 1,703 04/27/2022 07/13/2025 District 2 Julie Pignataro 01/09/2024 7,593 1,898 01/09/2025 07/11/2027 District 3 Tricia Canonico 04/27/2021 6,762 1,691 04/27/2022 07/13/2025 District 4 Melanie Potyondy 01/09/2024 9,402 2,351 01/09/2025 07/11/2027 District 5 Kelly Ohlson 04/27/2021 4,873 1,218 04/27/2022 07/13/2025 District 6 Emily Francis 01/09/2024 5,198 1,300 01/09/2025 07/11/2027
* The required number of signatures is calculated by taking 25% of the number of total votes cast for all candidates of that seat. For example, if there were 34,950 total votes cast for all Mayor candidates, it would take 8,738 signatures to meet the requirement because 34,950 * 0.25 = 8,737.5 rounded to the nearest whole number.
** The earliest date recall could occur is one year after the date that term began (the date the Oath of Office was taken). For example, if a term began on January 9, 2024, then the earliest date recall could occur is January 9, 2025.
*** The latest date recall could occur is six months prior to the end of term (when Oaths of Office are administered to newly-elected or reelected members). Oaths are administered at a special meeting on the second Tuesday in January after the November election. For example, if the Mayor's term ends on January 13, 2026, then the latest date recall could occur is six months prior to that, July 13, 2025.
Protesting a Ballot Title#
Any registered elector in the City may protest a proposed ballot title and/or submission clause for any initiated or referred measure. To do so, the elector must file a notice of protest (fillable pdf) with the City Clerk no later than noon on the Monday immediately preceding the date of City Council consideration of the ordinance or resolution setting the ballot title and submission clause.
The protest shall be heard, considered and resolved by the Council prior to the adoption of the ordinance or resolution.