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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Wondering About Wards

The Times Call described various campaign efforts of the Longmont City Council candidates yesterday. The comments are broken out by Ward and at-large candidates. Louisville does this too; should Lafayette look into this option? What is the tipping point at which you have enough people that either 1) parts of town are so dissimilar they need more specific representation or 2)you have enough people that practically speaking there's no way a at-large rep could ever really represent a distinguishable majority of opinion?

I guess "small town feel" precludes wards. Why break up the city into competing districts?

6 comments:

Colorado Russ said...

"Wards" are used so that neighborhoods have representation.
This presupposes that some neighborhoods will have different interests than others.
Unfortunately, Longmont has three at-large council members and three ward council members (plus the mayor).
There is really no need for at-large members, except to dilute minority or neighborhood representation.
I would prefer to have six wards in Longmont and no at-large council members.

Anonymous said...

The city is run by the Times Call and Lifebridge. Ask Bootlicker Gordie, the city manager. The article is accurate about "plugged in" people winning elections.

KERRY BENSMAN said...

Louisville has wards and an elected mayor. So does size matter?

As for Lafayette's at large council set up, I don't know how it relates to "small town feel". I have spent almost two years working with the Lafayette Old Town Association trying to reinvigorate Public Road. (Three candidates have suddenly become really interested in LOTA this week.)

Also I'd like to be convinced that "parking" a Lowes et all on the east side of town on Hwy 7 somehow contributes to a "small town feel." Add Hwy 7 gridlock in town to that. I wonder if a ward system would have changed the council support since that with a council member or two living in wards on that side of town (like current two incumbents and several new candidates do now) would have to deal with anti-Lowes ground swell in those neighborhoods.

A ward system would be a lot easier on candidates trying to cover all of town during a 3 week mail-in ballot season. And candidates would actually live in the ward. (Wow, imagine an Indian Peaks ward.) Wards rule!!!

Anonymous said...

If Lafayette had a ward system, would it prevent Kerry Bensman from claiming to be the only person who cares about Old Town?

KERRY BENSMAN said...

Funny thing, Anon. With the previous council with Monica, Beckham, Andresky, and me all living west of 287, we would talk about why were we the ones dealing with the First Union paving project (after 50 years), proposing a bond issue for a new PD station (3 previous mayors jumped on board after we got it on the ballot), fulfilling the previous promise of a park (Simpson Mine Park) for OT (20 years) after the Rec Center was build on the old park, starting the Task Force for a dog park, etc.

Of course you avoid the question of how would the current council members support of Lowes have been affected by a ward system?

How about some meaningful discussion rather than cheap shot rhetoric, Anon?

Cyclorado said...

Kerry, That's a good support for why Wards probably don't matter in Lafayette. It is a small enough place that someone from "accross 287" really isn't that much differnt from someone on the right side of 287. I can think of sections of the city that are rarely represented, but I think any ward system would still lump those few areas in with areas that have always had good representation.

Not sure about the Lowes/Council question. Aren't there council member from Old Town?