Thursday, February 5, 2015

News and Record; "Wade’s plan dilutes power of voters" Rhino; "Wade Releases Reformed City Council Map"

"Greensboro’s one-woman Nanny State revealed her plan for changing the City Council on Tuesday. As expected, it mutes the voices of the people but creates greater opportunities for the powerful.

State Sen. Trudy Wade’s bill would replace the 5-3-1 plan with a 7-1 scheme.

Wade’s plan calls for seven members to be elected
from seven districts.

Currently, five councilmembers are elected from districts
and three are elected at large.

So each district in the new plan is smaller, 
meaning each councilmember represents fewer people.

Roy's Rhino

...Do the subtraction: Everyone casts votes for five council members now. If Wade’s
plan is enacted, that will be reduced to two.

Now multiply: With elections every four years instead of two, each resident will cast just two [four?] votes instead of 10 over that time.

The mayor will be elected at large, 
but unlike the current mayor, 
who votes on every issue before the council, 
the mayor will only be able to vote in the case of a tie
 but can veto a council action.  

To override the mayor’s veto 
will require a two-thirds vote, or five out of seven.  

Roy's Rhino

Wade’s plan doesn’t allow the mayor to vote in council meetings on most matters, except to break a tie. The lone official who represents all of the people has the least power in the normal course of things — with a caveat. The mayor could veto measures, subject to override by five votes from the council.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan, District 3 Councilmember Zack Matheny, 
District 4 Councilmember Nancy Hoffmann, 
and At-large Councilmembers Mike Barber 
and Marikay Abuzuaiter all live in the proposed District 4.

Wade said, “I’m not really worried about councilmembers; 
I’m worried about the people of Greensboro having equal representation.

This will give the people better representation.”

...Who benefits? Certainly not current members of the council. Wade’s bill accomplishes what legislators call double- and triple-bunking, where two or three council members find themselves in the same district.

...District 2 Councilmember Jamal Fox 
and At-large Councilmember Yvonne Johnson
are both in the new District 1

...if the bill is passed by the General Assembly in time, 
it is slated to go into effect this year.

Roy's Rhino

...Campaign money has more effect in a small district than in a larger district or at-large race. With longer terms, big expenditures every four years could help elect people who can accomplish a lot for those who put up the money. That’s more likely the aim of Wade’s plan than giving ordinary voters a strong voice at City Hall."



The City Council shall consist of seven members, each residing in and elected from districts...

...All other matters voted upon shall be by majority vote of the Council members present but no ordinance shall be adopted on the same day it is introduced unless five affirmative votes are received in favor of it.

...Except for Council appointments to committees, boards, and commissions; its employment of the City Manager, the City Attorney, and the City Clerk; its internal affairs and matters which must be approved by the voters, the Mayor may veto any action adopted by the Council.

...An action vetoed by the Mayor shall automatically be on the agenda at the next regular or special meeting of the Council, but shall not become effective unless it was readopted by the Council with at least five members voting in the affirmative.

...In voting on amendments to zoning ordinances, the Mayor shall be deemed a member of the legislative body as that term is used in 28 G.S. 160A-385.
As far as I can tell from first glance, 3 Black, 4 White.

Something voted on by 4, can be vetoed by 1, and affirmed by not having 5 votes.