(1) The registered voters of a village may vote to discontinue organization as a village and organize as a city of the second class under this section if the population of the village exceeds eight hundred inhabitants as determined by the most recent federal decennial census or the most recent revised certified count by the United States Bureau of the Census and the prior vote pursuant to section 17-312 was in favor of retaining the village form of government. The issue may be placed before the voters by a resolution adopted by the village board of trustees or by petition signed by one-fourth of the registered voters of the village.
(2) The petitions under subsection (1) of this section shall conform to section 32-628. The Secretary of State shall design the form to be used for the petitions. Petition signers and petition circulators shall conform to the requirements of sections 32-629 and 32-630. The village board of trustees shall submit the petitions to the election commissioner or county clerk for signature verification pursuant to section 32-631. The required number of signatures shall be one-fourth of the number of voters registered in the village at the last statewide general election. The election commissioner or county clerk shall notify the village board of trustees within thirty days after receiving the petitions from the village board of trustees whether the required number of signatures has been gathered. The village shall reimburse the county for any costs incurred by the election commissioner or county clerk.
(3) If the village board of trustees determines that the petitions are in proper form and signed by the necessary number of registered voters or after adoption of the resolution by the village board of trustees, the village board of trustees shall submit the question to the voters of whether to organize as a city of the second class at a special election pursuant to section 32-559 or at the same time as a local or statewide primary or general election held in the village. The form of the ballot at such election shall be For reorganization of the Village of ......... as a city of the second class and Against reorganization of the Village of ........ as a city of the second class.
(4) If the majority of the votes cast are for reorganization as a city of the second class, the village board of trustees shall certify such fact to the Secretary of State who, upon the filing of such a certificate, shall by proclamation declare such village to have become a city of the second class. After such proclamation, such village is a city of the second class, and such city shall be governed under the laws of this state applicable to cities of the second class. The government of such city shall continue as organized at the date of such proclamation until the reorganization as a city of the second class.
(5) Upon such proclamation, the village board of trustees shall call a special election for the purpose of electing a mayor and city council members to be held not more than eight months after the proclamation is issued. At the initial election of the mayor and city council members, the names of the candidates receiving the greatest number of votes at the primary election if one is held shall be placed on the general election ballot. One-half or the bare majority of the candidates for city council in each precinct or ward or at-large candidates receiving the greatest number of votes at the general election shall be elected to terms of the longest duration, and those receiving the next greatest number of votes shall be elected to the remaining term or terms. Thereafter all members of the city council shall be nominated at the statewide primary election and elected at the statewide general election for four-year terms as provided in section 32-533. The members of the village board of trustees shall hold office only until the newly elected mayor and city council members assume office.
(6) All ordinances, bylaws, acts, rules, regulations, obligations, and proclamations existing and in force in or with respect to any village at the time of its incorporation as a city of the second class shall remain in full force and effect after such incorporation as a city of the second class until repealed or modified by such city within one year after the date of the filing of the certificate pursuant to subsection (4) of this section.