October 25, 2014

Standish approves resolution to change to even-year elections

Council terms will likely be extended one year

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STANDISH — A resolution passed by the Standish City Council Dec. 16 will change city elections from odd years to even years.

City Manager Curt Hillman said the primary reason for the switch was to save money for the city. Having elections on even years rather than odd years will allow the cost of elections to be shared by the Standish-Sterling Community School District and Arenac County, he said.

“By doing that, it basically has the other entities share the cost of that election,” he said. “Right now it costs at least $2,500 to run elections on odd years.”

Hillman said the city incurred all of the costs for its 2013 November city council election, which saw only about 57 voters come out.

“For the 40, 50 people you have show up for a city election, you have to have four election workers come out, you have to pay for their meals and stuff,” he said.

Having even-year elections falling at the same time as general or presidential elections will likely increase voter turnout, and give a better representation of what the city’s registered voters want, Hillman said.

In January, Hillman said he expects city council members to approve lengthening their terms for one year to bring them in line with the even-year election cycle.

“Instead of someone who just got on serving for four years, they’ll be on for five years,” he said.

Council members who would have been up for reelecton in 2015 will instead be on the ballot in 2016, Hillman said.

City council members Raymond Koroleski, Tosha Tunney and Daniel Couveau and Mayor Mark Winslow were voted in this year, and will be up for reelection in 2018, and council members Doug Ireland, Vi Cook and Charlie Macaulay will be up for reelection in 2016.

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