To the editor:
In an irrevocable action last June the City Council voted to move their election to a November cycle. This makes 2012 an interesting election year. As it stands now, in February is the presidential primary, in May are the School Board elections, in June is the primary for the U.S. House and Senate seats, and in November will be the general election of the House, the Senate, the president, the citys mayor and the City Council.
Obviously this cannot stand. At the very least the City Council must seek a charter change and move the School Board elections to November (and establish new term dates). This change must be obtained from Richmond in the 2010 session or in the 2011 session.
Just as obvious is the silliness of maintaining municipal elections in a three-year cycle that will bump along into national and state elections.
Since a sitting City Council should not seek to adjust their current terms, the Council should let the three-year terms stand until 2015, at which time terms should shift to a four-year cycle in perpetuity.
If this were done, we would have municipal elections every four years that would not fall on the same year as state wide or national races.
This is the only way to maintain an election focused primarily on local issues. Any other scenario will bury the mayoral, Council and School Board contests under bigger races.
All this can be done this fall by this City Council.