Friday, May 22, 2015

New Municipal Election Procedures

OK, I am not a lawyer, and many times even lawyers disagree on interpretation of laws (evidence various lawsuits).

The legislature passed the new election laws yesterday and the governor will probably be signing the bill into law soon.

Here is how I interpret the new law, as it affects city elections in Shawnee:

1.  We will keep our odd year elections.
2.  We have the option of keeping them non-partisan.
3.  General elections for city positions will move from April to November, primaries if needed would be in August.
4.  Winners in November, would take office in January
5.  Those currently serving whose terms currently expire April 2017/2019 would have their terms extended.
6.  Charter Ordinance 40 would need to be amended (or repealed and a new one issued) to reflect those cycle changes.
7.  It appears that it would still be up to the city to determine the methodology of filling vacant seats on the governing body caused by resignation, death, election to another office, etc.
8.  By keeping the elections in odd years local elections would not be affected by "top of the ballot" offices such as president, governor, congress, senate (US) etc.

Please do not take the above as being the final/accurate interpretation of the new law, but I'd bet it's real close.