Archived Story

Vote no on the amendment

Published 5:48am Sunday, October 28, 2012

Let’s not water down our ability to have a say in city government. On Nov. 6, Albert Lea residents will be asked to approve an amendment to the city charter to give the mayor a four-year term instead of a two-year term. Don’t do it.

Some folks say that a four-year mayoral term will give our city more continuity because newly elected mayors do not know what the job is about. I have never heard a mayoral candidate say he or she would be clueless for the first two years. The purpose of the two-year term is to make our city council responsive. Every two years, voters elect three of six council persons and the mayor, thereby giving voters the ability to totally change the direction of the city. The mayor is supposed to be a lightning rod for public opinion. Running every two years, the mayor should get a feel for the community. The present system has worked well for us. Only once in the last 30 years, in 2008, did voters fail to re-elect a sitting mayor. Yes, we have had turn over in the office, but it was because mayors decided not to run or resigned for personal reasons.

Requiring the mayor to run every two years allows us to ask questions and let the mayor defend policies on issues like improvements on Broadway and reconstructing Bridge Avenue. Voters can then decide whether to make a change or not.

Vote no on the city charter amendment.

 

Mark Anderson

Albert Lea