May 28, 2014 by Steve Winkler
Electing council members by ward elections will provide better representation for citizens and lessen the financial burden for candidates. The current “at large” elections mean that while a candidate may live in a particular ward, he/she is elected by voters an all wards and therefore needs to campaign city wide. Ward elections would allow candidates to campaign only in the ward in which they live and will represent on the city council.
Contact Council members Don Rollins, Ed Stout, Bill Sergeant, Julie Shafer, Shane Donahue, Anita Lowry, Mike Nelson and Jan Throgmorton before the June council meeting and ask them to support this change in the way we elect council members. If someone makes the motion, someone seconds and the majority vote yes, West Fork can have elections of ward representatives for this November general election. An emergency clause will allow time for maps to be determined, ballots prepared and candidate filing deadlines accommodated.
If this ordinance fails to be enacted by the council, supporters will collect petition signatures to have the ordinance become a ballot initiative on the November general election ballot.
VOTE BY WARD ELECTIONS
AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND PROVIDING THAT ALL ALDERMEN BE ELECTED BY WARD, IN WHICH EVENT EACH ALDERMAN SHALL BE VOTED UPON BY THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF THE WARD FROM WHICH THE PERSON IS A CANDIDATE.
WHEREAS, The Arkansas Code Annotated, §14-43-307, sets forth that candidates for the office of alderman in cities of the first class shall reside in the ward from which they seek to be elected and shall run at large; and
WHEREAS, The City Council of any such city is empowered and authorized to provide, by ordinance, that all aldermen be elected by ward, in which event each alderman shall be voted upon by the qualified electors of the ward from which the person is a candidate.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF WEST FORK, ARKANSAS:
Section 1. That the candidates for Alderman, Position 1 and Position 2, in any ward, shall be elected by ward, and shall be voted upon by the qualified electors of the ward from which the person is a candidate.
Section 2. That the name of the candidate shall appear upon the ballot only in the ward in which he/she is a candidate
PASSED AND APPROVED this ____ day of ____ 2014
APPROVED BY ______ Mayor
ATTEST : ____________City Clerk