1998 Regular Session

To: Municipalities

By: Representative Denny

House Bill 857



SECTION 1. Any municipal corporation having a population of more than one hundred thousand (100,000) according to the 1990 Federal Census may be abolished and dissolved in the manner hereinafter provided. The municipality may be abolished by a referendum called by a petition of the voters or an ordinance calling for such a referendum. In order to abolish or dissolve such a municipality, the mayor and councilmen shall first adopt an ordinance calling for an election to abolish or dissolve such municipality, which ordinance shall set forth in full the reason or reasons why such municipality should be abolished and why the public convenience and necessity would be served by the abolition thereof.

Upon presentation and filing of a proper petition requesting a referendum signed by at least five percent (5%) of the qualified electors of the municipality or adoption of an ordinance, it shall be the duty of the council to call an election at which there shall be submitted to the qualified electors of the municipality the question of whether or not the municipality should be abolished and dissolved. Such election shall be held and conducted by the municipal election commissioners on a date fixed by the order of the council, which date shall not be more than sixty (60) days from the date of the filing of such petition or


order. Notice thereof shall be given by publishing such notice once each week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in some newspaper published in the municipality. The election shall be held not earlier than fifteen (15) days from the first publication in the municipality.

The election shall be held and conducted as far as may be possible in the same manner as is provided by law for the holding of general elections. The ballots used thereat shall contain a brief statement of the proposition submitted and, on separate lines, the words "I vote FOR abolishing and dissolving the municipality" and "I vote AGAINST abolishing and dissolving the municipality," with appropriate boxes in which the voters may express their choice. All qualified electors may vote by marking the ballot with a cross (x) or check (v) mark opposite the words of their choice.

The election commissioners shall canvass and determine the results of the election and shall certify same to the council, which shall adopt and spread upon its minutes an order declaring such results. If, in such election, a majority of the qualified electors participating therein shall vote in favor of the proposition, then the council shall take the necessary steps to abolish and dissolve such municipality and shall forward a certified notice to the Secretary of State.

Whenever the municipal corporation is abolished, the council shall forward to the Secretary of State a certified copy of such action, which shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State and remain a permanent record thereof. The Secretary of State shall note on his official records pertaining to such municipal corporation the fact that such corporation has been so abolished.

SECTION 2. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi is hereby directed to submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.

SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.