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17 <br /> <br />ORDINANCE: "AN ORDINANCE DECLARING PROPERTY <br />LOCATED AT 2210 NORTH BERKSHIRE ROAD TO BE A PUBLIC <br />NUISANCE" (carried over) <br /> <br />PUBLIC HEARING/ORDINANCE: MOVING COUNCIL ELECTIONS TO <br />NOVEMBER (2nd reading) <br /> <br />The public hearing was opened. <br /> <br /> Mr. Charles Weber, 601 Locust Avenue, spoke against moving the elections to <br />November of 2005. He said the decision should be delayed until the findings of the <br />Elections Study Task Force have been released. He said if Council does act now, the <br />elections should be moved to 2007. He said summer public hearings are poorly attended. <br />He said he is alarmed at the budget trends and has lost confidence in the Democrats' <br />ability to rein in taxes. He said delaying the move until 2007 gets Mr. Schilling through a <br />another budget cycle. <br /> <br /> Ms. Anne Reinicke, 917 Rockcreek Road, said she hopes the positive tone of the <br />new Council continues. She said she supports moving Council elections to November <br />beginning in 2007. She said moving the elections in 2005 will be looked on as forcing <br />out the lone Republican. She said Council should not do this to someone who does not <br />want it to happen to them. <br /> <br /> Mr. Peter Kleeman, 407 Hedge Street, opposed moving the elections to November <br />because he believes it will diminish community involvement. He said if increasing voter <br />turnout is the goal, the elections should be moved to coincide with national elections. <br />Mr. Kleeman said that having a great number of people participate in the elections will be <br />detrimental to the people who follow Council issues. He said to have more meaningful <br />Council elections more contact with the public, such as through forums, should be held. <br /> <br /> Mr. Dave Phillips asked Council not to move the elections to November at this <br />time. He said it may be a good efficient move in the future, but Council should not move <br />too quickly. He said there may be a more comprehensive solution with the Elections <br />Study Task Force. <br /> <br /> Ms. Cheri Lewis said she served on the Electoral Board for nine years and is <br />pleased Council is taking up this issue. She said she feels there are three issues in <br />moving the elections: 1) What is lost - focus on city only issues and shortening of terms <br />of two Councilors who were not aware of this when they ran for office. She suggested <br />the move be effective in November of 2007 2) What is conserved - a savings of at least <br />$32,000, and the effort and general energy of election officials. She noted that fall is <br />generally regarded by the public as election time. 3) What is gained - more interest and <br />participation, increased voter turnout, and a more politically and culturally diverse voter <br />population. <br /> <br />As there were no further speakers, the public hearing was closed. <br /> <br /> Mr. Craig Brown, City Attorney, explained that what is before Council is an <br />ordinance which would move the Council elections to November in 2005. He said under <br />this ordinance, the terms of all five Councilors would be shortened by six months. He <br />said once an ordinance is approved, it must be submitted to the Justice Department, with <br />final review by the Attorney General. <br /> <br /> Responding to a question from Mr. Caravati, Mr. Brown said that the Attorney <br />General has 60 days to make a determination, but this may be extended if questions are <br />raised. <br /> <br /> Responding to a question from Ms. Hamilton, Mr. Brown said that Council has <br />the discretion to move the elections to November of 2007 which would result in there <br />being one more election in May of 2006. In that situation, he said that the terms of only <br />the three Councilors elected in May of 2004 would have their terms shortened by six <br />months. <br /> <br /> <br />