The city’s Charter Election is officially Saturday May 7, but early voting started on Monday.
There are no names on the ballot, but that doesn’t mean the election isn’t important. A city charter review task force met last year and passed along recommendations to the city council in December.
Those recommendations are presented to voters in the form of 11 different propositions. The first three propositions have the most noticeable impact to voters and taxpayers.
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Proposition 1, if approved, would increase the length of city council member terms by a year. Currently council member and the mayor’s seat are up for election every two years. The task force recommended elections be held every three years.
Proposition 2, if approved, would increase the number of city council district from the current eight to a total of 10. With the mayor that would make 11 members on the city council. If approved the increase would not happen until after the 2020 census.
The task force said the growing nature of the city, particularly in the northern part of the city, means citizens need better representation. If approved a new redistricting map would be put into place.
The third noticeable proposition is proposition 3, as it would increase mayor and council member salaries. The mayor currently makes $29,000 a year, but the task force felt given the time and effort put in by the mayor the salary should be doubled to $60,000. Council members currently make $25,000. The proposition calls for an increase to $45,000 a year.
The other eight propositions deal with cleaning up charter language and more technical aspects of city government.
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The city is holding two informational meetings for the public to better understand the charter election:
- Thursday night at 6 p.m. at Christ Centered Missionary Baptist Church, at 5205 Carol Ave.
- Saturday May 7 at 10 a.m. at University Christian Church, on 2618 S. University Drive.