The vote will decide if a citywide vote should be held to decide city council elections, or if the city of 31,000 should be divided into districts.
Councilwoman Marsha Swanson did not vote when the vote took place on Wednesday because she was out of the country. Mayor Scott Farnam abstained.
According to Farnum, “I abstained because of money, not because I did not feel it was right.”
Farnum went on to say that in talking to Councilwoman Swanson, he felt she was in favor of the decision for a vote to decide this issue in November.
Bridgette Moore, Mayor Pro Tem, said that residents have said through verbal and public comment, emails, letters to the city and a letter to the editor that they want a chance to vote for at-large.
Moore claimed, “that is what our residents want.”
Farnam claimed that some people feel an at-large vote is a tactic to further political careers.
The Mayor disagreed by saying, “By districts, is easier and cheaper.”
He said that in a district vote, there is a chance there will not even be a candidate running in opposition.
“There was not a concern as far as political careers. The biggest concern is this is a small community. It doesn’t make sense to divide into districts,” said Farnam.
Farnam stated that he was here for the community at large, and council members responsibilities should not be divided.
“As a resident, personally I feel all five council members are held accountable to me, not just districts. I work for all the people. I would appreciate council members treating that the same way,” said Farnum
Farnam stated that his overall feeling was that the community should stay at-large.