Charlotte City Council rejects four-year terms

Charlotte Observer reports the City Council rejected a proposal for four-year terms by a 7-3 vote. What’s interesting is the reasoning behind some council members’ ‘no’ vote:

Council member LaWana Mayfield said council members need more time between elections.

“This is not a part-time job,” said Mayfield, who also supports making the council a full-time job with a salary that would allow members not to have outside jobs. “Not everyone is able to adjust to that learning curve. When you only have a two-year cycle, you’re really only working 15, 16 months before you have to run again.”

But Mayfield also voted no, because she said she doesn’t support having a ballot referendum. Mayfield wants the council members to approve longer terms themselves rather than send the issue to voters.

…Like Mayfield, some other council members said that they should simply vote to extend their terms themselves. City Council has the power to do so, but such action to lengthen their terms would then be subject to a recall referendum by voters if opponents gathered 5,000 petition signatures.

“I wish this wasn’t something that would get pushed to the ballot,” said Winston. “I wish we could do it by council vote.”

Other council members noted that had four-year terms be out to the voters, it probably would have failed.

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...

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