On August 23, 2022, the Town Council approved on second reading an Ordinance referring two ballot questions to the taxpaying electors of the Town for the November 8, 2022 election, the same date as the state general election. Both ballot questions would amend the Town’s Home Rule Charter.
Here’s some information about each ballot question.
What a Vote FOR Ballot Question 3H will mean:
• A YES vote will result in the Town Council continuing to be comprised of five members (including the Mayor). The Council will increase to seven members after the Town has 15,000 registered voters.
• A YES vote will result in all members of Council being elected at large until there are 15,000 registered voters.
• A YES vote will result in three voting districts being established after the Town has 15,000 registered voters. After that time, residents will vote for one Councilmember from their voting district. A resident will not be allowed to vote for district Councilmembers not residing in their district. Three Councilmembers and the Mayor will be elected at large.
What a Vote AGAINST Ballot Question 3H will mean:
• A NO vote will keep the Town Charter as it is currently written.
• A NO vote will keep the Town Charter provisions, increasing the Town Council to seven members after the Town has 8,000 registered voters.
• A NO vote will keep the Town Charter provision which would create three voting districts from the time after an election when the Town has 8,000 registered voters. Three Councilmembers must reside in one of the three districts, and residents are allowed to vote only for one candidate from their district.
What a Vote FOR Ballot Question 3I will mean:
• A YES vote moves the Town Councilmember and mayoral elections from April to November, so that Town Councilmembers may be elected on the same ballot as federal, state, and local representatives and ballot questions. Historically, voter turnout is greater in November elections than in April Town elections.
• A YES vote will move general Town elections to November and allow the Town’s elections to be coordinated with the Counties and run by the County Clerks, with the costs of the election split among the participating local governments. This should result in a reduction in the costs to run the election.
• A YES vote will extend the terms of Councilmembers and the Mayor elected in April of 2024 and 2026 to four years and seven months (instead of just four years) to allow for the transition. A Yes vote will not extend the terms of the currently elected Councilmembers or the Mayor.
What a Vote AGAINST Ballot Question 3I will mean:
• A NO vote would keep elections in the spring, with the Town Clerk running the election and the Town covering the cost of the full election.
• A NO vote would keep Town ballot items separate from other federal, state, and local representatives and ballot questions.
• A NO vote will have no change on terms of Councilmembers and the Mayor.