By Carolyn Marnon – Two issues will be competing for your attention on the November 3 election ballot, both concerning the method by which city council members are elected.
In the November 2014 election, voters in Wayne chose to move to a ward model of electing city council members. Six wards were established in the City of Wayne. The council would have representation from each of the wards. There was no implementation plan on who could vote for these representatives. As it turned out, all voters were allowed to vote for a councilperson from each ward. It was not restricted to a voter only voting for a member from his/her own ward.
The first ballot initiative would propose a charter amendment to provide for at-large city council elections. This was the method for seating city council prior to November 2014. This would eliminate the current ward system. A council candidate could live anywhere in the City of Wayne. Voters could vote for up to three of all the candidates in the running. The top three vote-getters would be elected.
The other ballot initiative would retain the ward districts, but there would be a change. Candidates would be up for election in their respective ward of residence. The councilperson in that ward would be voted on by only the resident voters in that particular ward. For example, you could only vote for a candidate running for the Ward 3 position if you lived in Ward 3. You would not be able to vote for the candidate that would represent Wards 1, 2, 4, 5, or 6.
You will be able to vote on both of these initiatives on the November 2020 ballot. What happens next depends on the election results. There are three different outcomes.
If both initiatives pass, the one with the highest number of affirmative votes would prevail.
If both initiatives fail, the City would remain with the current ward system.
If one initiative fails and the other passes, the one that passes prevails.
Whatever the outcome, the election procedure would begin with the 2024 election cycle.