“The petition is simply invalid,” said David Feldman, the city’s attorney.
Officials said there were too many irregularities in the petition. Some of the pages weren’t notarized, and too many of the signatures were not registered voters, they said. Feldman said, essentially, that there were so many problems with the petition as it was submitted that the city couldn’t accept it.
Mayor Annise Parker predicted that opponents will take legal action. Because of expected legal action, she will then delay implementation of the ordinance.
The petition was submitted by opponents of the ordinance, which added protections for the LGBT and other communities.
The decision came as proponents of the ordinance questioned the legitimacy and tactics of the petition drive lead by opponents, putting in to doubt whether or not the drive would succeed.
Late last week, an anonymous group published the names of the signatories, calling for transparency and independent reviews of each signature. Among the names found by this reporter are State Rep. Dwayne Bohac and Ryan Patrick, the son of Republican lieutenant governor nominee and state Senator Dan Patrick.
Under state law, petitions submitted to government agencies are public record.