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Extending Council Term May be on this November Ballot Again

At next week’s worksession, the Council will discuss placing this issue of extending Council term from 2 to 4 years on the 2021 ballot and developing a voter education plan.

In early 2018 Mayor and Council adopted priorities that included consideration of a Charter amendment creating four-year staggered terms, transitioning four district seats to four at-large seats, and mid-term redistricting. Subsequently, Council decided to move forward only with the exploration of four-year staggered terms.

In November 2018 Council created a Charter Review Commission to evaluate the pros and cons of lengthening the term for the office of Mayor and Councilmembers to four years; to solicit resident input and conduct other research as deemed appropriate by the Commission, and prepare an information report that discusses the benefits and concerns associated with changing the length of the elected terms. The final report of the Charter Review Commission was submitted to the Mayor and Council on May 31, 2019, and is posted on the City’s website.

In July 2019 the Mayor and Council discussed the report and decided to place advisory questions on the ballot for the November 5, 2019 election. In August 2019 the Mayor and Council approved the advisory ballot questions with respect to whether voters support 1) two- or four-year terms for Mayor and Council and 2) staggered or concurrent terms for Council in the case of four-year terms. 1,027 voters supported 2 Year Term whereas 935 voters supported 4 Year Term. I personally felt that keeping the Council term to the current 2 years was the right thing to do.

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