The Dublin City Council voted Monday night to change how council members are elected, moving away from the current ward system to an at-large method they believe will afford better representation to the citizens of the city.
Currently, council members are elected from specific geographic locations in the city called “wards” and in order to represent such a ward, a representative must live there.
Mayor pro tem Jimmy Leatherwood made the motion for the change and asked the council to set the number of council members at eight. He then explained the need for this change.
“We take care of the entire city and when we vote, we’re voting at large, not just voting as representatives of our wards. We want to do what is best for the whole city, not just our individual wards.”
He added that it is sometimes difficult to find someone from a certain ward who is willing to run for office and serve on the city council.
“Also,” Leatherwood said, “we’ve had some really good people who couldn’t run just because they live in the wrong place. This will fix that.”
Rhonda Williams, city secretary added, “This won’t affect the upcoming election in May. That process has already begun and this vote will not change that.”
The new rules will not go into effect until 2016, she said, so the city will have an entire year to work out the details of the change.
She also pointed out that the process for filing for this May’s election began on Jan. 27 and would be open until Feb. 27. During that period citizens of Dublin must submit an application to be placed on the ballot.
John Johnson from Ward 1, Bobby Mendez from Ward 2, David Zinck from Ward 3 Melvin “Mac” Mc Millen from Ward 4 and Mayor David Leatherwood are up for re-election.
Williams said that no other Dublin residents have filed for election at this time.
The council voted to pass Leatherwood’s resolution and also set May 9 as the date for the next election.