Dowagiac voters reject charter amendment

Published 9:24 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Dowagiac voters chose to keep the choice of future city clerks in their own hands, as they voted down the proposed city charter amendment during Tuesday’s presidential primary election, according to unofficial results from the Cass County Clerk/Register Office.

With all three city precincts reporting in, preliminary results show that voters rejected the proposed amendment by a little less than 100 votes, with 393 voting “yes” and 489 voting “no,” a margin of 55 percent.

The amendment, approved unanimously by city council last summer, would have amended the city charter to allow the position of city clerk to be changed from an elected position to one that would that be appointed by the city manager, with approval by council. The amendment was originally slated to go before voters in November, before council voted to move the decision to the presidential primary in March in order to avoid confusion with the clerk race, which also took place during the general election last fall.

Per the city charter, passed by Dowagiac voters in 1964 and enacted into law in 1965, changes to the document can only be made with consent from city voters. The proposed change to the clerk position is one of several amendment proposals the city government plans to introduce to local voters over the next several elections.

Current City Clerk Jane Phillipson Wilson will continue to serve her four-year term, which expires in 2020, and would have remained in office regardless of Tuesday’s vote.

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