IN THE IOWA DISTRICT COURT IN AND FOR POLK COUNTY
John Francis Anderson
Mayor Pro Tem of the Territory
of West Carlisle,
Polk County, Iowa CL 79454
The Secretary of State
of the State of Iowa
COMES NOW the petitioner, pro se, and seeks a declaratory judgment concerning the rights of citizens to place public measures upon the ballot of the State of Iowa. For claim, the petitioner states as follows:
The request for declaratory judgment is supported by the following points:
- The Iowa General Assembly has refused to place either an initiative or referendum public measure upon the 1999 ballot.
- The Secretary of State has refused to place either an initiative or referendum public measure upon the 1999 ballot.
- The deadline for placing a measure on the November 1999 ballot is August 27,1999.
- Our Article I section 2 right to, at any time, alter or reform government for the public good will have been abrogated when that August 27th deadline passes.
- Our Article I section 1 rights to defend life and liberty and obtain both safety and happiness will also have been invaded when the August 27th deadline passes.
The arguments for initiative and referendum are simple and unambiguous. The right of citizens to legislate as opposed to the restricted functions lent to the legislature by the people. The failure of the legislature to enact the laws necessary to carry the constitution into effect. The constitutional mandate and statutory requirements breached by the current annexation process. The public need to alter or reform the current involuntary annexation statute.
- The right of citizens to legislate
- The failure of the legislature to enact the laws necessary to carry the constitution into effect.
- The constitutional mandate and statutory requirements breached by the current involuntary annexation process.
- The public need to alter or reform the current involuntary annexation statute.
I. The right of citizens to legislate, at any time.
Rights of persons. Art I sec. 1. All men are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rightsamong which are those of enjoying life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.
Political power. Art I sec. 2. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.
Political power referred to in this section consists of the three great attributes of sovereignty, namely, legislative, executive and judicial authority, all of which is inherent in the people. Stewart v Board of Sup'rs of Polk County, 1870, 30 Iowa 9, 1 Am.Rep. 238
because, in the exercise of the discretionary power vested in the people of the state, by the constitution, they have the right to say what laws shall be enacted for the "benefit, security, and protection of themselves, and for the public good." Opinion of Attorney General, Santo et al. v. The State of Iowa , 2 Iowa 165, 203
The constitution of 1846 Article I section 2 as quoted in Santos v. The State of Iowa held: All political power is vested in the people; government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it. The Constitution of 1857 clarified the source of political power by the proper substitution of the word "inherent" for the inferior word "vested". The case of Santo et al. v. The State of Iowa, being contemp-oraneous of the time that our present constitution was drafted, opens a limited window to the sentiment of those times concerning the distribution of powers. Attorney General David C. Cloud wrote in 1855: "The constitution vests in the people, the right to do any act, conducive to the public good." Also, " When private interest comes in conflict with the public good, private interest must yield, especially when the private interest comes in conflict with the law."
The contention of this present demand for initiative and referendum holds that the private interests of a few, in positions of authority within the legislature, not anticipated by the constitution, are working against the public good. Through procedure instituted to manage the number of legislative proposals, powers of control have been given to a few legislators allowing them to assert their will and ignore the needs of the people. The measures proposed here are expediently remedial to the situation at hand.
The functions of the Legislature are limited and restricted in the constitution by the people. The people also have not just a constitutionally guaranteed right, but the supreme inherent right to alter or reform those functions, at any time and without encumbrance, if the public good should require it.
Words used in the Constitution are to be construed in their natural sense and in the light of conditions existing when the Constitution was adopted, and of the evil sought to be remedied or guarded against, as disclosed by authentic history, constitutional debates, and contemporary legislation relating to the subject-matter. N.W. Halsey & Co. v. City of Belle Plaine, 1905, 128 Iowa 467, 104 N.W. 494.
In reviewing the constitutional debates of 1857, the only discussion of the first and second sections of Article I concern an effort to amend section 2. In that debate both proponents and opponents were concerned with proscribing the legislature from altering the Constitution at will and the protection of corporate contracts and charters. There was also concern of controlling the powers exercised by the legislature and keeping the General Assembly from becoming immune to the will of the people. Any discussion of this section was either absent or overlooked in the records for the 1844 and 1846 conventions, thus the meaning and implications must be derived solely from reading . There is no historical documentation available to dispute the contention that the right to "alter or reform" empowers "initiative and referendum," either directly or by inference, and in fact this contention is supported . The alteration or reformation of Government can only be accomplished marginally by referendum and wholly by initiative since government is a collection of statutes and articles.
However, the contentious debates of the issue of Article X, dated Thursday, February 19th, 1857 are very clear in illustrating the rights of the people to impose their will upon the Legislature, centering upon keeping the Constitution from being amended like a statute. The constitutional drafters touched upon most of the germane issues while arguing their points in very human terms, complete with sniping and sarcasm, yet not a single one of them veered away from the tenet that the "people" are sovereign in the State of Iowa. There is quite a record of argument so I will list only the most enlightening sections here.
Upon the superiority of the Constitution, which they were attempting to guarantee the electorate of the State access to, without obstruction, over the inferior statutes that the people, apparently, already had access to.
Mr. Gillaspy. "I am opposed to making the constitution subject to amendment and repeal like a common statute"
Mr. Solomon. "I am not surprised at the desire of some members to place this constitution on a level with statute law, for they seem to indicate by their course that they have no other conception of a constitution than that it should be a statute."
Mr. Clarke of Henry. "
I believe he is honest and sincere; and when the gentleman gets up here and says he does not like to live under such an uncertain constitution, which may be changed as easily as a statutory act, I believe he is honest and means just what he says
Upon the timeliness of legislative action upon the constitution by the people or the Legislature.
Mr. Hall. "Now, I would not object to this at all, if we had annual sessions of the legislature. But with only biennial sessions of the legislature, it seems to me that it is putting off too long what may be essential amendments to the constitution."
Mr. Clarke of Johnson " We do not know but what, when these internal improvements are in the course of construction, when these banks of issue are at work, throwing their paper before the country, some emergency may arise which will call for speedy action in the amendment of this constitution. I want to provide a way to do it, and it does seem to me that the provision made by the majority report is fair and safe."
Upon the number of citizens required to tender a petition.
Mr. Gibson. " A number may be very few and yet be respectable. A half dozen may be a very respectable number, and yet it is not very numerous."
Mr. Gower. I think if a petition of any number of our citizens is presented to our Legislature, that is a respectable number.
Upon the right of people to access the laws governing them, not by requiring them to be regulated by the Legislature, but by imposing their will as mandatory upon the Legislature.
Mr. Clarke of Johnson " I think this is fair. It is placing this matter where it properly belongs, in the hands of the people, and no gentleman need be alarmed for fear of hasty legislation in retaining this power where it legitimately belongs."
Mr. Traer. " I believe we all agree upon one question, that the people are the source of power; or in other words, that all political power was originally vested in the people of this government. If that be the case, and we are all agreed upon that point, then the question arises - how, or in what way, are we going to delegate this power to our representatives in the legislature? I hold that we should do the same, as any individual would do, when he makes another individual his agent to carry out certain prescribed objects; reserve the right of countermanding the authority we give our agents at any time we may see fit.
"When we have agents to act for us, I hold that it is a contradiction in terms that we should give them the right to say when we may or may not act."
Mr. Traer. "I hold that the people have an inherent right to change their fundamental law at any time without their representatives or any other body interfering with that right."
Mr. Clark. " Now if the people are safe to be trusted; if we act upon the principle that our government is predicated upon the will of the people, and that our sovereign power traced back to its source, rests upon the individual, capable of self-government, if that is the ground upon which my friend from Wapello plants himself, I ask the gentleman where there can be a valid objection to this provision in the constitution, to allow the people at any time, upon the shortest notice, the privilege of altering the constitution when they have found it to fail to meet their wants, or to cease to provide for their interests?"
The experience of the past proves the necessity of it. I think that there might be a case in this State in which it would be necessary perhaps to use that power, and when the legislative body might refuse to call a convention in accordance with the wish of the people."
" I am in favor of making the people directly the controllers of the government; of allowing them, themselves, without asking it as a favor of their legislative bodies, the right to say when they will change , alter, or modify their constitution."
Mr. Solomon "How that may be, I will not undertake to assert; but one thing is evident; whenever it is apparent that the people really make a demand, the legislature must obey."
Mr. Gibson. " The legislature, as I understand it, are nothing but the servants of the people to carry out their wishes, and the people have a right to demand of them what they want , and that body dare not refuse them."
General assembly Art. III Legislative Department section 1. The Legislative authority of this State shall be vested in a General Assembly, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives: and the style of every law shall be. "Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa"
The State Constitution prescribing the powers of the legislative department, is a limitation and not a grant of power; and hence, in construing a legislative act, the courts look not to what the Constitution authorizes, but to what it prohibits. Op.Atty. Gen.1906,p.96
Inherent power is an essential constituent, possessed without its being derived from another. Any other stipulation of powers is both inferior and revocable. The vestment of legislative authority is simply a separable accrual of function derived from the external source of the people who retain legislative power as an inseparable inherent right. Taken in context with the Courts and Attorney Generals opinions, the legislature is simply given permission to legislate in lieu of the people as opposed to the actual powers conferred upon the other two branches of Government. The constitutional drafters were free to say "all" legislative authority is vested in the legislature but they did not. They simply stated that all laws will be enacted by the general assembly, and did not confer the sole power of initiation upon that body or the sole power of repeal, neither of which are prohibited from exercise by the people. The functions of the three branches of government are inferior to the rights of the citizenry whence those functions are derived, the functions of the legislature being those most closely preserved by the people through the conferral of authority instead of an actual granting of power.
Except as limited by state and federal constitution, people have power to legislate, and they can confer such power on their state Legislature. Gallarno v. Long, 1932, 214 Iowa 805, 243 N.W.719
The question placed before the courts in Santo v. The State of Iowa, Geebrick v. The State of Iowa, and The State v. Weir was whether the legislature could enact a law that would come into effect, or be repealed, based upon the vote of the people. Geebrick v. The State of Iowa also holds that "people have no power in their primary or individual capacity, to make laws. They must do this by their representatives." I do not propose that people acting in the primary or individual capacity make law, I hold that the people of the State have retained the right to direct the drafting of laws as a collective majority in a fashion to how the Constitution is recast or amended. It would be absurd to contend that the sole method to alter or reform the operation of government is through constitutional amendment, that would be like advocating the treatment of a headache with decapitation. As will be demonstrated, the public good requires alteration of the current processes because they do not put the questions of individuals through their representatives to a quorum of the State legislature for acceptance, debate, or denial.
Additionally, initiative and referendum by the citizens of Iowa, as proposed, does not ask that the legislature put the question of affirmation or refutation of their work to the voters. The inherent powers invoked under Article I section 2 are independent of any function delegated to the three branches and are defined as follows:
- Referendum, as proposed here, is the repeal of a singular law upon the vote of the people in their collective capacity. This would allow the people to have repulsive laws stricken from the code by collective vote. As it now stands, numerous groups within the state with harmonious goals must file singular, arduous, actions in court, at great cost, with variable results dependent upon the demeanor of the court, to defend against laws that offend against the entire populace of the state. The result sought here is an alteration or reformation of laws through the retained rights of the people, whenever the citizens of the state require it for the common good without pitting the cherished resources of individuals against the resources of corporations, municipalities or the State itself, all while suffering under the law.
- Initiative, as proposed here, is a public mandate, binding upon the legislature. Such a mandate is immune from neglect or funneling by the legislature and would hold the legislature in session until an act conforming with the public wishes was signed into law by the governor or a veto overridden. The mandamus status is required, especially if the end sought is reform of some resistant legislative function or functionary. It is a requirement by the citizens based upon what they consider the public good as approved by the electorate of the State.
Neither of these approaches is offensive to the functions allowed the legislature by the people. Denial of these requests, though, constitutes an invasion or complete bar of what is mandated in Article I section 2. The three powers of government are, in that section, retained by the people and by nature, cannot be taken from the people.
In fact, each of the three political powers inherent to the people is assigned by them incrementally, in the Constitution, to a "branch" of government. That assignment of duties to each singular branch begins with effectively the same restriction of scope, effectively barring one branch from the functions of the other. The three resulting constructs have no inalienable rights and only those functions and immunities conferred by the people. Being political constructs, the branches cannot "possess" powers, only execute them requiring a lesser degree of the term "vested" to be applied. The branches of government are like bookshelves for the functions of government, and the people, who truly possess those functions, are free to move a function or set of functions from one shelf to the other with no objection from the shelf. Each of, a combination of, or all of the branches may be reformed, dissolved or altered by the people; though each branch is impotent to obtain change without the democratic suffrage of the people. The problem facing the people is the facilitation of change, which has not been enabled by the legislature despite the crystal clear mandate contained in Article I section 2.
The State constitution is not a grant but a limitation of power, so that Legislature may enact any law not expressly or inferentially prohibited by Constitution. McSurely v. McGrew, 1908, 140 Iowa 163, 118 N.W. 415, 132 Am.St.Rep. 248
The courts, in Clinton v. Sheridan,530 N.W. 2d, 694, ruled that: " If the general assembly intended to preempt municipal initiative and referendum powers, it could have done so by express and unambiguous statutory language." This contention would also hold for the drafters of the Constitution who were unencumbered in their efforts to design our system of Iowa government. In fact, placing the delineation of the source of political power and also the right to alter or reform it at any time, second only to the rights of the individual, leaves no doubt that initiative and referendum are both intended and enabled though stipulated as constitutional rights with the more liberal wording to prevent a constrained interpretation. Any other interpretation is absurd. How else can the citizenry change the statutes comprising government, at any time, other than calling for a ballot measure? Surely the Executive and Judicial branches cannot effect "alteration or reformation" at the behest of the citizenry and the Legislative branch for variable reasons can block the will of the people, as it now does. Only by plebiscite can the will of the people be voiced without possible obstruction of the inherent rights affirmed in Article I section 2, by any party or entity.
Additionally, the constitutional stipulation of "at any time" requires that the people have the right to instigate public measures by direct presentation of a petition to the Secretary of State. Currently the legislature is available much less than one half of the year, and historically the legislature met only once every two years. Requiring public measures to be presented to the general assembly infringes upon this stipulation. Also the Article X section 3 provision for placing a call for a constitutional convention only once each decade, does not meet the "at any time" mandate; the constitutional convention of 1857 included this provision to ensure that the legislature or executive branch could not block the will of the people as had been done in the 1853 call for a convention.
Article I section 6. All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the genral assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.
Since the determination of class as "urban" or "rural" is, and can be, based upon the arbitrary application of involuntary annexation by municipal corporations, referendum and initiative, as currently applied in Iowa, violates Article I section 6, Laws Uniform. Illumination of this fact is given by the April 1998 involuntary petition of the city of Des Moines that would have immediately changed the status of 800 property owners in a 24 square mile area from rural to urban without their consent and without precondition, at the whimsy of the city council of Des Moines. To allow urban residents the provisional rights of initiative and referendum but to deny it to county residents or the collective citizenry of the state due to a completely arbitrary classification, is an infringement upon Article I section 6.
The State constitution is not a grant but a limitation of power, so that Legislature may enact any law not expressly or inferentially prohibited by Constitution. McSurely v. McGrew, 1908, 140 Iowa 163, 118 N.W. 415, 132 Am.St.Rep. 248
Furthermore, the Legislature may not confer a function it does not first possess, and all legislative functions, and in fact all "political powers", are derived from the inherent rights of the people. Municipal corporations can enact the functions of initiative and referendum. The primary function of the legislature is initiative and referendum, thus the people have the rightful powers, not function, of initiative and referendum which serves as the source of the functions possessed by the derived political subdivisions. This is supported by the courts interpretation of the repeal of the words "and is limited to" from 372.10 in 1975.
- 10 CONTENTS OF CHARTER. A home rule charter must contain (and is limited to) provisions for:
The court asserted that , "the obvious purpose of this deletion was to allow the home rule charters to include the broad powers to determine local affairs and government as provided by the constitutional amendment." Clinton v. Sheridan,530 N.W. 2d, 694. Since all elements of government are derived from Article I section 2, each Constitutional element concerning legislation being "not a grant, but a limitation of power" (McSurely v. McGrew, 1908, 140 Iowa 163, 118 N.W. 415, 132 Am.St.Rep. 248) the people must first possess any power, in order for the function to be subsequently conferred upon a governmental entity by the restricted power of the legislature or the resultant provisions of the Constitution drawn from the people. If there were any express or implied prohibition of referendum and initiative contained in the constitution, the courts could not have ruled as they did, in affirmation of the powers of referendum and initiative.
The Legislature has failed in its constitutional duty to enact laws necessary to carry the constitution into effect. Simply neglecting to facilitate the rights, not conferred, but recognized in Article I sections 1 and 2 does not abrogate those rights nor deprive the people of the right to exercise them.
- The failure of the legislature to enact the laws necessary
- to carry the constitution into effect.
Article XII section 1. This constitution shall be the supreme law of the state, and any law inconsistent therewith, shall be void. The general assembly shall pass all laws necessary to carry this constitution into effect.
Chapter 49A of the Code of Iowa stipulates how a "public measure" is to be published, yet nowhere in the code is "public measure" either defined or facilitated. By requiring that all "public measures" be passed through the Legislature, the rights stipulated in Art. I sec. 2, particularly the specification of "at any time" are abrogated. Iowa has a part time legislature, accessible as a body much less than ½ of the year and historically only once every two years.
By neglecting to legislate how citizens can effectuate an alteration or reformation of the government, "at all times", the general assembly has failed to comply with its mandate contained in Article XII section 1. This failure does not, and cannot, abrogate the rights of citizens, thus the General Assembly and Secretary of State are obliged to place the two measures upon the ballot. A hereditary lack of foresight by the General Assembly denies that body the privilege of regulatory procedure; it does not strip away the inherent rights of the citizenry, affirmed in the constitution, to alter or reform government whenever the public good may require it.
The people are sovereign, and speak through their constitution, and when they thus speak its mandates are binding on the Legislature, which is but one of the agencies of government. C.C. Taft Co. v Alber, 1921, 185 Iowa 1069, 171 N.W. 719
- The constitutional mandate and statutory provisions
- breached by the current annexation process.
Citizens petitioning the City Development Board are prevented from receiving equitable hearings due to practices that have crept away from what the legislature intended and the Constitution directed. That board sits with the intention of letting cities expand at will as opposed to giving due consideration to the wishes of the residents of the territory to be annexed as the legislature directed in 368.6. The Attorney General has been improperly inserted into the process failing to comply with both constitutional and statutory proclamations. The current operation of the City Development Board places citizens who have the superior and inalienable right to make choices concerning their safety and happiness in the position of being opposed by two branches of Government and the municipality attempting the arbitrary annexation. In fact, the people are who should be given a presumption of validity by the Attorney General against a political subdivision of the state due to the intent of the chapter being administered, 368.
Article III of the distribution of powers. section 1. The powers of the government of Iowa shall be divided into three separate departmentsthe legislative, the executive, and the judicial: and no person charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments shall exercise any function appertaining to either of the others, except in cases hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.
involuntary annexation statute.
- The Attorney General, specified in Article V section 12 of the constitution as a member of the Judicial branch of government, sits as a functioning member of the City Development Board, a component of the Executive branch, in contravention to 368.9 which does not designate the Attorney General as a member of the board. The board votes, without deliberation and without fail, in accordance to the transitory verbal advice proffered by the Attorney General. Prior to 1919 the Attorney General was charged with duties in the Code of Iowa beneath the Judicial branch where that office is also created in the Iowa Constitution. In 1919 the duties of the Attorney General was mistakenly listed under the executive branch. There was no legislative act nor constitutional amendment legally calling for that action. Regardless of where those duties are erroneously seated in the Code of Iowa, the Iowa Constitution creates the office of Attorney General within the Judicial branch of government and thus it is charged with the powers of that branch and cannot participate in any duties of the other two unless permitted or directed to, expressly.
- Chapter 13.2 section 4 requires and confines the Attorney General to respond in writing to any questions of law submitted by an officer of the state. There is no express provision for the direct participation of the Attorney General in either chapter 368 or the Constitution, governing the functions of the City Development Board. The current participatory status has resulted in misquoted statutes, unsubstantiated and incorrect argument presented as fact. The resultant record has subsequently been defended as a human frailty resulting in a semantic accident by the Attorney General during appeal and thus the "legal opinion" of previous meetings is freely amended, without procedure, to diffuse the arguments of appeals. This participation by a Judicial branch entity in the functioning of an Executive branch entities duties gives undue validity to the personal inclinations of the Attorney General concerning annexation and erases the demarcation of the separation of powers specified in Article III sec 1. These are the exact reasons, I believe, that the Attorney General was not created within the Executive branch. By not asking for questions of law in preparation for hearings and during continuances of hearings, the City Development Board does not respond to petitions as a deliberative body but instead votes, invariably, upon the best recollection of statutes of whichever Attorney General is present, placing adverse parties, usually citizens, at a gross disadvantage. By not responding to questions of law in writing, the record of this Executive branch board is inconsistent and insupportable.
- The involuntary annexation statute, 368.11, is diametrically opposed to the intent of Chapter 368 as expressed in 368.6. This is particularly apparent when viewing the artifice of the city of Des Moines to deprive the residents of the territory of West Carlisle of any privilege conveyed upon them by the legislature in Chapter 368. The Board and Attorney General have blocked both a voluntary annexation pursuant to 368.7, and an involuntary annexation filed pursuant to 368.11, by the residents of the territory of West Carlisle.
- The public need to alter or reform the current
The legislative leadership has declined to allow debate upon involuntary annexation to bring equity to the process. City governments are being fiscally irresponsible by annexation of additional land without the means to service the area other than diminishing services to their entire jurisdiction. Either intentionally or serendipitously cities nudge the red ink in their budgets down by the addition of vast areas of land to the property assessment within the city limits with neither the means or the intention of providing services to the areas annexed. The courts in Clive v. Colby 1963, 255 Iowa 483 121 N.W. 2d 331 decreed that " No municipality should have the right to tie up adjacent territory unless it is prepared to proceed diligently to annex territory and extend needed municipal services
- The Legislature has been prevented from enacting any solution, by the leadership in the Senate, for four consecutive years. This failure to bring even measures approved by the House of Representatives up for an equitable debate, regardless of support or the need of the public, has been accomplished by a Legislative oligarchy that has seemingly forgotten that they represent the citizens of Iowa, urban and rural, and not the interests of inferior governmental entities. Rejection of bills by this elite does not amount to a rejection by either house. The current practice of "funneling" legislation places inappropriate weight on the desires of one or more individuals who control the calendar and breaches the tenet of a quorum in republican government. There should not be any monetary or crisis requirement to bring about an equitable debate on subjects or to have laws enacted or repealed for the public good; initiative and referendum will allow the citizenry to guide or force the attention of the legislature to subjects of concern to a majority as determined by statewide ballot.
- Quoting the Iowa State land use study, Senator Lundby indicated that the land currently within municipal boundaries is in excess of 50% vacant yet developable/ agricultural. At a November meeting of the League of Cities, the city managers present, including Eric Anderson of Des Moines, complained that residential development does not support the services supplied with the taxation assessments allowed, further claiming that commercial property taxation carries the load. The financial impact of an insufficient tax base due to urban sprawl within the confines of municipal corporations is compensated for by an increased taxation burden upon the residents. The current vacant yet developable/ agricultural land within Des Moines sits at approximately 20%, when coupled with the tax exempt property this number exceeds 60%, yet only a portion of that, due to their recording practices, can be quantified but the impact is staggering. Still, the city of Des Moines is seeking to increase the vacant developable land by involuntarily annexing 14 square miles of land, down from the initial proposal of 24 square miles which would have resulted in close to 70% vacant/tax exempt property inside the city limits. In Des Moines there are currently 5,000 vacant lots according to the city manager, a portion of the 11.7 square miles of vacant yet developable land. If it costs $1,000 more than what can be assessed a vacant lot to run the spectrum of city services past a it, then the taxpayers in that city start each fiscal year with a $5,000,000 deficit. Yet that city is attempting to involuntarily annex another 14 square miles of substantially vacant land. This involuntary annexation action is not in the best interest of the urban or targeted residents and will result in a dilution of services and peril to the lives and property of the individuals residing within the resulting boundaries
- Rural residents involuntarily annexed into a city have no assurances that they will ever be provided any of the municipal services they deserve in return for higher taxation. Citizens property and lives within1989 Easter Lake annexation in Des Moines are still in jeopardy a decade afterwards with no fire protection reasonably situated as of April 1999. Article I section 1 affirms citizens rights to protect property and obtain safety and happiness; involuntary annexation deprives them of those rights.
- The Legislature has no direction other than the wants of the few in leadership positions who are promoting personal interest and not public interest. Despite pleadings from multiple groups on subjects of imminent importance for the public good which affect the quality of life and how food reaches the table, the leadership is free to waste time on capricious issues like mourning doves which could never cause hunger pangs. A democratic government requires the vote of the people, a republican government requires the vote of a quorum of the peoples representatives; what has evolved fails to fulfill either forms requirements.
Citizens have the constitutionally affirmed, inherent right to legislate. The legislature has failed in its mandated duty to enact legislation facilitating these rights. The current operation of the involuntary annexation statute violates numerous statutory provisions and constitutional requirements and is thus offensive to the people and works against the public good. The public good requires changes for the benefit of both rural and urban citizens, the urban to control their taxation and safeguard their infrastructure, the rural to control their taxation and ensure their liberty to pursue and obtain safety and happiness.
Even with the elimination of all supporting arguments, a plain and honest reading of Article I Section 2 clearly empowers initiative and referendum with the words "
alter or reform, at all times
". It is additionally clear that these powers are meant to be independent of the functions assigned the legislature yet mandatory of the legislatures attention. Referendum was, and is, necessary to prevent the evils of offensive statutory provisions while the legislature is out of session or indifferent. Binding initiative is required to force changes for the public good to be legislated by a legislature resistant to those changes.
A writ of mandamus to the Secretary of State to place the following public measures on the 1999 ballot and to proceed with the required publications and procedures to validate the resultant ballot:
The referendum to be placed upon the 1999 ballot is:
Should the involuntary annexation statute be repealed?
YES ___ NO ___
The initiative to be placed on the 1999 ballot is:
Should a bifurcated vote be required
for involuntary annexation? YES___ NO___