Jim McCeney is bugging me to comment on the referendum questions themselves. I guess he thinks that I'm dodging the issue with my previous post. However, in the interest of full disclosure, here are my votes on the referendum questions:
1. Early Voting - Support - Of course we should have early voting. If we could ever figure out how to vote from home on these internets securely, I'd be in favor of that as well.
2. Changing the election date - Opposed - I don't want the election changed to November because I want to keep the city elections separate and distinct. Keep the date where it is now. We just changed it recently and I don't want to go chasing after the date like it's some sort of bad television show looking for an audience.
3. Extend the current terms - Opposed - See my answer above.
4. City Council term to 4 years. - Opposed - I'm sorry but this idea is just wrong. I would never have run for the council if the commitment was four years. I loved my time on the council, but 2 years is long enough to learn the job and decide if you want to continue serving. Besides, I agree with Karen, you need the opportunity to throw us bums out every two years.
5. Voting by Ward Only - OPPOSED - This one I feel quite strongly about. While I can see how voting for your own native son or daughter will encourage more turnout, we will rue the day when we encourage this level of parochialism in our city.
Laurel is a small town. We don't need to Balkanize it and pit ward against ward. Council members that collegially work for the good of the whole city are called great, and we have had many. A council member that is only working to serve their local ward constituents at the expense of the whole is called a Congressman. We already have one Congress, we don't need to turn Laurel into another.
6. Mayor's Salary - Opposed - Now is not the time to increase any salary.
7. Council's Salary - Opposed - Now is not the time to increase any salary.