Hopefully, city council resolves structural questions quickly
On the surface, the change in the city council structure seems pretty simple: reduce the number of seats, have a citywide vote next year to fill the new seats and have the mayor join in on votes.
Only it’s really not. When new council members are elected in 2017, how long will their terms be? Surely they can’t all be the same, causing each subsequent election to have the potential for wholesale change. Certainly there will be staggered terms, but for what seats? Or will there be seats? How does the change affect the mayor’s term or does it?
These are a few of the questions that need to be answered as this process unwinds. Hopefully the procedure will be a high priority for the current council and will be addressed quickly. Even though the current council is in an awkward position the next year, there is still much to be done and they have the opportunity to set the course for the city in numerous ways.
Opponents of the change cited how difficult it would be to institute as one of their arguments against it. That was a pretty silly argument given the complexities of much in modern government. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t some effort needed to better define the change process and communicate that with the electorate.
With so much facing the city council in the months ahead, hopefully preparing for the transition next year will be addressed quickly and efficiently. The public deserves a full understanding.