(1) A municipal county may be dissolved by submitting the question of dissolution at a primary, general, or special election held within the county or counties involved and in which all registered voters are entitled to vote on such question. The ballot question may combine the issues of dissolution of the municipal county, the division of the municipal county into the county or counties and its offices, and the division of each merged municipality. The process of dissolving a municipal county shall begin by passage of a resolution by the council of the municipal county. The resolution may be initiated by the council or by petition as provided in subsection (2) of this section.
(2) Whenever registered voters of the municipal county, equal in number to ten percent of the total vote cast for Governor in the municipal county at the preceding election, petition the council to pass a resolution as contemplated by this section, it shall be the duty of the council to pass a resolution creating a dissolution planning commission. Petitions shall be filed with the election official. The election official shall ascertain the number of registered voters signing such petitions and transmit his or her findings, along with the petition, to the council.
(3) Within ninety days after the passage of the resolution or within ninety days after receipt of a petition by the registered voters, the council shall create a dissolution planning commission. A commission may also be created by the district court having jurisdiction over the municipal county upon the failure by the municipal county to pass a resolution after submission of a petition by the registered voters. The commission shall have no less than nine members and no more than twenty-one members representing the proposed counties and proposed municipalities to be reestablished as determined by the council in order to achieve proportionate representation. The council shall select the members. Representation on the commission shall be prorated based upon population of the proposed counties and proposed municipalities involved, except that (a) each proposed county and each proposed municipality involved shall have at least one representative selected by the council and (b) not more than forty percent of the total membership shall be public officials. Meetings of the commission shall be subject to the Open Meetings Act.
(4) The commission shall hold at least one public hearing prior to preparing the plan for the dissolution of the municipal county, study the affected area, and then make a determination of whether dissolution of a municipal county is in the public interest. If it is not in the public interest to do so, the commission shall issue a report stating its findings. If it is in the public interest to do so, the commission shall prepare one plan for the dissolution of the municipal county. Such plan shall be approved by the council prior to submission of the issue to a vote of the registered voters unless the commission was created by a petition of the registered voters. The plan shall specify (a) which counties and municipalities will be reestablished upon dissolution of the municipal county, and (b) which elected officials, if any, will be reestablished. At least ninety days prior to submission of the issue to a vote of the registered voters, the commission and the council shall hold at least one public hearing in each county and municipality proposed to be reestablished and make available for review by residents of the municipal county all material terms and conditions set forth in the resolution to dissolve the municipal county, including information regarding the tax implications and quality and cost of services to be provided by the proposed plan to dissolve the municipal county.
(5) Upon approval of the plan by the council, if required, or upon the council's approval or failure to approve if the commission was created by a petition of registered voters, the election official shall place the issue on the ballot at the next primary, general, or special election. The question may include any terms or conditions set forth in the resolution, such as the services to be provided by the municipalities and the timing of the dissolution implementation, and shall include any offices to be reestablished.
(6) The election official shall give notice of the submission of the question not more than thirty days nor less than ten days before the election by publication one time in one or more newspapers published in or of general circulation in the municipal county in which the question is to be submitted. This notice is in addition to any other notice required under the Election Act.
(7) The vote shall be tabulated in each municipality which is proposed to be created by the dissolution separately from the areas outside the boundaries of the proposed municipalities. If a majority of those voting on the question in the area within the boundaries of any proposed municipality and the areas outside the proposed municipalities vote in favor of dissolution, the municipal county shall be deemed to be dissolved according to the terms of the resolution. If the dissolution is not approved by a majority of those voting in the election in the area within the boundaries of any proposed municipality or the areas outside the proposed municipalities, the dissolution shall be deemed rejected.
(8) Any election under this section shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures provided in the Election Act.