David Mann: The case for even-year electionsPublished 12:25pm Wednesday, April 24, 2013
At the city council meeting on Monday, April 22, we scheduled a public hearing for the council meeting on May 13, 2013, to change city council elections from odd to even years.
Essentially, this should limit, or completely eliminate, all odd-year elections.
By moving elections to even years, the same as congressional and presidential elections, we will be encouraging more people to take part in local elections with more voters turning out.
When I originally ran for council in 2011, only 6.3 percent of registered voters from the precinct I represent voted. Overall, 7.8 percent of registered electors in the city turned out for the election.
Compare this to the 2012 election when approximately 47 percent of all registered voters turned out to vote in the city and it is clear how the turnout will change.
Also, in a time when we are on a tight budget, this will allow us to save several thousand dollars.
When we have an election that just deals with one or two issues, it still costs a lot of money because you are still required to have ballots, staff and other necessary materials.
One concern that the council expressed during our retreat is that in order to re-align the election cycle, we will need to increase all council member’s terms one year for one term. Be re-assured though that this will be only a one-time occurrence and is allowed for by state law.
If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or your local council member. (Their contact information is online at nilesmi.org.)
Also, you can share your opinions during the May 13 public meeting at 5:55 p.m.
Elections this year will go on unaffected, but the 2015 election will be bumped to 2016 and the 2017 election will be bumped to 2018.
As always, elections will be non-partisan in order to help our council to function for its citizens and not be caught up in playing political games.
By working together, we can change this community.
David Mann is a member of the Niles City Council
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