16-202. Real estate; conveyance; how effected; remonstrance; procedure; hearing.

The power to sell and convey any real estate owned by a city of the first class, including park land, except real estate used in the operation of public utilities and except real estate for state armory sites for the use of the State of Nebraska as expressly provided in section 16-201, shall be exercised by ordinance directing the conveyance of such real estate and the manner and terms thereof. Notice of such sale and the terms thereof shall be published for three consecutive weeks in a legal newspaper in or of general circulation in such city immediately after the passage and publication of such ordinance.

If within thirty days after the passage and publication of such ordinance a remonstrance petition against such sale is signed by registered voters of the city equal in number to thirty percent of the registered voters of the city voting at the last regular city election held therein and is filed with the city council, the property shall not then, nor within one year thereafter, be sold. If the date for filing the petition falls upon a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the signatures shall be collected within the thirty-day period, but the filing shall be considered timely if filed or postmarked on or before the next business day. Upon the receipt of the petition, the city council, with the aid and assistance of the election commissioner or county clerk, shall determine the validity and sufficiency of signatures on the petition. The city council shall deliver the petition to the election commissioner or county clerk by hand carrier, by use of law enforcement officials, or by certified mail, return receipt requested. Upon receipt of the petition, the election commissioner or county clerk shall issue to the city council a written receipt that the petition is in the custody of the election commissioner or county clerk. The election commissioner or county clerk shall compare the signature of each person signing the petition with the voter registration records to determine if each signer was a registered voter on or before the date on which the petition was filed with the city council. The election commissioner or county clerk shall also compare the signer's printed name, street and number or voting precinct, and city, village, or post office address with the voter registration records to determine whether the signer was a registered voter. The signature and address shall be presumed to be valid only if the election commissioner or county clerk determines that the printed name, street and number or voting precinct, and city, village, or post office address matches the registration records and that the registration was received on or before the date on which the petition was filed with the city council. The determinations of the election commissioner or county clerk may be rebutted by any credible evidence which the city council finds sufficient. The express purpose of the comparison of names and addresses with the voter registration records, in addition to helping to determine the validity of the petition, the sufficiency of the petition, and the qualifications of the signer, shall be to prevent fraud, deception, and misrepresentation in the petition process. Upon completion of the comparison of names and addresses with the voter registration records, the election commissioner or county clerk shall prepare in writing a certification under seal setting forth the name and address of each signer found not to be a registered voter and the signature page number and line number where the name is found, and if the reason for the invalidity of the signature or address is other than the nonregistration of the signer, the election commissioner or county clerk shall set forth the reason for the invalidity of the signature. If the election commissioner or county clerk determines that a signer has affixed his or her signature more than once to the petition and that only one person is registered by that name, the election commissioner or county clerk shall prepare in writing a certification under seal setting forth the name of the duplicate signature and shall count only the earliest dated signature. The election commissioner or county clerk shall certify to the city council the number of valid signatures necessary to constitute a valid petition. The election commissioner or county clerk shall deliver the petition and the certifications to the city council within forty days after the receipt of the petition from the city council. The delivery shall be by hand carrier, by use of law enforcement officials, or by certified mail, return receipt requested. Not more than twenty signatures on one signature page shall be counted.

The city council shall, within thirty days after the receipt of the petition and certifications from the election commissioner or county clerk, hold a public hearing to review the petition and certifications and receive testimony regarding them. The city council shall, following the hearing, vote on whether or not the petition is valid and shall uphold the petition if sufficient valid signatures have been received.

Source:Laws 1901, c. 18, § 8, p. 230; R.S.1913, § 4817; C.S.1922, § 3985; C.S.1929, § 16-202; Laws 1935, Spec. Sess., c. 10, § 7, p. 75; Laws 1937, c. 27, § 1, p. 148; Laws 1941, c. 130, § 13, p. 497; C.S.Supp.,1941, § 16-202; R.S.1943, § 16-202; Laws 1963, c. 60, § 2, p. 252; Laws 1988, LB 793, § 4; Laws 1993, LB 59, § 1; Laws 1997, LB 230, § 1; Laws 2016, LB704, § 17.