LETTER: New Brighton City Council erred in its election year move

  To the Editor:

The mayor and council’s decision to lengthen their own terms as part of changing New Brighton’s election years, from odd to even years, was deeply disappointing. 

The decision to lengthen already-elected terms was made even though the council could have accomplished the election year change by having it take effect after the 2019 election, and by shortening the terms.

This was a self-serving move and disrespectful to the electorate. The claimed reason for the change is to increase voter participation. If so, why lessen input from the voters by unnecessarily eliminating an election during the transition process? 

Our local elected officials do a lot of work for the city at pretty modest pay and politics can be a rough business, but that does not mean they have earned the right to extend their posts when they could have accomplished their goals without doing so. Claiming the decision shows “leadership,” or implying that lengthening their own terms is some kind of favor to the city is insulting to the voters who elected them, and to the many great citizen volunteers in New Brighton.

The mayor and council members should reflect on the great privilege and trust they have been given by the citizens of New Brighton, and reconsider their decision. If they believe moving to even-year elections is important, they should amend the recently passed ordinance to take effect after the 2019 election and shorten any terms already elected by the voters.

Ben Jones, New Brighton

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