Up & Coming Weekly

June 05, 2018

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 12 of 32

12 UCW JUNE 6-12, 2018 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Fayetteville City Council elections have been non-partisan since the council-manager form of government was established in 1948. Regardless of the structure of local government, candidates for office are not identified by their political party affili- ations. It's common among municipal governments in North Carolina. State law allows four different types of municipal election methods. ese four methods are outlined by the North Carolina Legislature in Chapter 163, Article 24 of the state's general statutes. A munici- pality's chosen method of election is codified in its charter. e Fayetteville city charter provides that all nine members of council and the mayor be elected every two years. e mayor is elected citywide. Council members are chosen in nine separate districts, which are com- parable in size. At-large elections were eliminated in 2000 when a blue-ribbon commission recommend- ed the current election method. If there are more than two candidates for each district seat, there will be a pri- mary election. e primary will trim the number of candidates to two per district, and they would advance to the general election in November. If needed, the pri- mary would occur in October. Some city council members want to change the terms of office to four years. Others do not. As a group, the body has done little to promote the proposition publicly. ey scheduled a public hearing during the last meeting and only three people spoke. One speaker pointed out that two-year terms are the most constitutionally sound form of government. Members of the North Carolina Senate and House of Representatives serve two-year terms. U.S congressmen also serve for two years. Critics of longer terms of office contend that voters have short memories. City council took no action when reminded by city attorney Karen McDonald that the agenda called only for a public hearing. e mayor and city council are the "board of directors" for the municipal corporation. As such, they set policy, approve the financing of all city operations and enact ordinances, resolutions and orders. eir responsibilities also include appoint- ing the city manager, city attorney and members of various boards and commissions. e city manager functions as the chief operating officer, administers the policy and decisions made by city council and oversees the day-to-day opera- tions of city government. It is the city manager's responsibility to ensure that all city services are delivered in an efficient and cost-effective manner and to provide vision and leadership to the city organization. Members promoting a change propose that half the members serve four-year staggered terms with the others elected in opposite cycles two years later. e cities of Durham and Wilmington have an interesting election pattern. Council members serve four-year terms. e mayor is elected every other year. Of the state's largest cities, only Char- lotte's city council is politicly partisan, holding democratic and republican primaries with the winners meeting in the fall. Asheville, Greensboro and Winston-Salem elect their council members to four-year terms. Some are staggered. Durham vot- ers hold all their members politically accountable at the same time. Most municipal elections are held in odd years. A few municipalities elect their officials in even- numbered years. Although municipal elections are conducted by county boards of election, only residents of the municipality are qualified to vote in city elections. ese voters must have resided in the municipality for at least 30 days prior to the date of the election. Election cycles under scrutiny by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS (910) 678-8400 • www.faytechcc.edu The SMART Choice for Education! Summer Classes Begin June 18 - Register Now for Fall Classes! Make the smart choice to register now for Fall! Register Now! Tony Rand Student Center at Fayetteville campus Spring Lake campus Fort Bragg Training & Education Center Over 250 programs leading to associate degree, diploma, certificate!

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