A petition seeking to limit the number of terms Pasadena City Council members may serve has fallen short of the number of signatures required to qualify for the special April election.
City Clerk Maria Stewart said Wednesday that a random sampling of the petitions turned in last month showed that too few of the 14,355 signatures were valid for a complete count under state regulations.
The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder checked 500 signatures against the office's computerized list of registered Pasadena voters and found 343--or about 69%--to be valid, Stewart said. The California secretary of state's office requires 95% of the sample to be valid to proceed to an individual count, she said.
The petition, circulated by onetime council candidate Nicholas Conway, sought to limit council members to two four-year terms and would have been retroactive. Conway's only means of appealing the count is to go to court, Stewart said. Conway was unavailable for comment Wednesday.
"I was disappointed to discover (an inadequate percentage) of the sample were registered voters," said Councilman Bill Crowfoot, a supporter of a term-limits ballot measure. "I think it reflects on the people collecting the signatures and shows a lot of people out there who are for term limits don't bother to register to vote."
In November, the City Council declined to put a term-limit measure on the March municipal ballot.
The petition required 15% of registered Pasadena voters' signatures--9,861--to qualify for the ballot. Based on the 343 valid signatures, it was projected that 9,051 signatures were valid, Stewart said.
Stewart said most of signatures were declared invalid because the names did not belong to registered voters or residents of Pasadena. One of the 500 signatures was a duplicate, she said.