postpones election decision
Express Staff Writer
tongue-lashing by a local resident, the Ketchum City Council on Monday
night postponed a decision on whether to delete a portion of its code that
requires candidates for council seats to win a majority of votes or face a
voted in January 2001 to change the city’s election procedure from one
in which the top two vote winners among all candidates were appointed to
the council to one in which each candidate runs for a specific seat. The
change also adopted the runoff requirement.
to widespread public opposition to the change, the council decided last
month to put the issue before the voters in November in the form of an
advisory opinion. City Attorney Margaret Simms told the council Monday
that state law does not permit a binding referendum on the subject, but
does permit an advisory vote.
decided that, in the meantime, it would remove the runoff portion of the
new procedure. The third reading of the proposed amendment—required
before a vote can be taken—was scheduled for Monday night’s meeting.
local resident Karen Reinheimer requested a postponement of that reading
until she had a chance to share data she said she had collected on the
so-called "undervote"—the percentage of voters who, under the
previous system, cast only one of their two allowed votes to give the one
vote for their chosen candidate more weight. She said she had made
repeated attempts to compare her data with that previously collected by
Councilman Randy Hall, which she believes to be inaccurate. The alleged
undervote helped lead to calls for changes to the system.
now I’m feeling a little railroaded," Reinheimer said. "I’m
feeling a little disappointed in our government process.
think the people need to be informed that there has been a mistake made as
to the calculations."
admitted being slow in getting back to Reinheimer, and acknowledged that
his data may be inaccurate.
praising Reinheimer for making the effort to compile her data,
Councilwoman Chris Potters moved to postpone the proposed amendment until
the council’s March 18 meeting.
Mayor Ed Simon said he will "veto" the amendment if passed,
because he opposes the entire new system.
on the premise that we should vote the way we used to and I’m going to
stand by it," he said.
Such a veto
would be a primarily symbolic gesture, because under state law, a mayor’s
veto can be overridden by a majority of council members, the same number
needed to pass the measure.