(1) An initiative or referendum petition shall be in the form prescribed by the city recorder.
(2) When a prospective petition is submitted to the city recorder, the city recorder shall, as soon as possible, determine whether the prospective petition is in the proper form, including but not limited to compliance with the requirements of subsection 2.974(a) of this code, and;
(a) If the prospective petition is not in the proper form, return the prospective petition to the person submitting it and advise that person what the defects are;
(b) If the prospective petition is in the proper form:
1. Advise the person submitting the prospective petition of the number of signatures necessary to place the petition on the ballot;
3. Specify the size and kind of paper on which the prospective petition is to be duplicated;
4. Date and time stamp the prospective petition; and
5. Initial the prospective petition and approve it for circulation.
(3) On the next business day after a prospective petition in the proper form is submitted to the city recorder, the city recorder shall transmit a copy of the prospective petition to the city attorney for review and action under section 2.977 of this code.
(4) The prospective petition shall include a statement signed by the chief petitioner(s) declaring whether one or more persons will be paid money or other valuable consideration for obtaining signatures on the initiative or referendum petition. Once the prospective petition is approved for circulation, the chief petitioners shall notify the city recorder not later than the tenth day after any of the chief petitioners first has knowledge or should have had knowledge that:
(a) Any person is being compensated for obtaining signatures, if the statement included with the prospective petition declared that no such person would be compensated.
(b) No person is being compensated for obtaining signatures, if the statement included with the prospective petition declared that one or more such persons would be compensated.