Prairie Village on Monday began the work of moving city elections from the spring to the fall.
New state requirements passed this year by the Kansas Legislature requires all local governments to hold their elections in November of odd years. Prairie Village, like many other local cities, has traditionally held elections to choose council members and the mayor in April.
Under the new plan, council members would see their staggered four-year terms shortened by three months as they switch to November elections in odd-numbered years. One group would be elected as normal next April and serve until the end of 2019 while a second group would be elected in November 2017 and serve until January 2022. The mayor’s seat would be staggered to be up for election in even-numbered years, beginning in 2018 and serving until January 2023. After the initial shortened terms both the council members and mayor would serve full four-year terms.
The council supported keeping the nonpartisan council elections in odd-numbered years because they would be insulated from the partisan fights surrounding the election of the governor and president in even-numbered years.
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“We really get to have our citizens come out and vote and there’s less chaos going on in the election cycle,” said Councilman Terrance Gallagher.
Changing the election date will require an ordinance amending the city charter, meaning it requires approval by two-thirds of the council members and must give citizens 60 days to file a protest petition to challenge. The council plans to take up the ordinance for a first reading in two weeks and bring it up for a vote on Nov. 2.
David Twiddy: firstname.lastname@example.org.