District Meetings Inconclusive; Council Faced with Decision

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By Dave Freneaux

    Tuesday evening the sixth in a series of meetings was held to discuss how Central's City Council is elected.  The committee was charged by Mayor Watts to research Term Limits and Council elections by Districts and Divisions.  Many in attendance at these meetings, including the citizens on the research committee, expressed their preferences.  In the end, preference was expressed for many scenarios, including 5 Districts, 7 Districts, 5 At-Large, 5 Divisions, and a hybrid of 5 Districts plus 2 At-Large  The only common thread of agreement in the majority of the opinions expressed was to move to Districts in some form.  Committee chairman Wayne Messina stated that he intends to submit his report to the Mayor as requested.

     Under State Law, the City Council makes the final decision on whether to change the election method for Council Seats.  An Ordinance creating five Districts was introduced by Council Member Louis DeJohn in June, but DeJohn delayed the Ordinance at the Mayor's request so that further study could be done.  Messina expressed at the meeting that, after forwarding the committee report to the Mayor, he will consider the information and that the matter would be taken up by the City Council.


  1. Kayla Hammons

    September 1, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I don’t understand what the purpose in this committee casting their vote was when they didn’t even vote according to what the majority of the people wanted. Yet again another example of political people in Central voting based on personal preference and not giving one ounce of care as to what the people want. I’m so sick of every one always blaming someone else. The saddest part about it is that it’s going to be up to the younger generation to fix all of this mess when it’s said and done with… You would think some of them would get smart and listen to what we want… seeing as it will affect us the most anyway!

  2. Nancy Blount

    September 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    As I understand it, the committee that was tasked with researching and reporting on this matter voted at the conclusion of the series of meetings. The majority vote of the committee was to make the recommendation of 5 districts and 2 at large seats.(5/2) From what I understand from communication with some of those on this committee, this vote was in keeping with the response of the citizens who attended the series of meetings. As noted, a number of different options were presented and received varying degrees of support from the citizens in attendance. However, the one option with the highest support of the citizens who attended and expressed their preference was for the option that ended up getting the majority vote of the committee for recommendation, with that being the aforementioned option of 5/2 with
    5 districts and 2 at large seats. I am aware that the matter will now go to the City Council in order for them to make a final decision regarding this matter. Once again, the work of this committee, as well as other committees, working on behalf of the City of Central in studying and researching different issues and matters of concern regarding our city is appreciated by many!

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