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Cornelius News

Public hearing set for discussion of term-length change for Town Board

A public hearing on term length will be held  6 pm Monday June 19,  in Town Hall. Photo by Jason Benavides

May 16. By Dave Vieser. The Cornelius Town Board will conduct a public hearing on Monday, June 19, to receive comments on changing elected officials’ term lengths from two years to four.

At the May 15 meeting, the commissioners unanimously agreed they wanted public input before proceeding.

Todd Sansbury

“I had brought this issue up a while back,” said Commissioner Todd Sansbury, “and statewide research indicates that four-year terms are more common.

“However, I really have no strong opinion either way, and I would like the public to weigh in on such a change.”

Right now, the mayor and Board of Commissioners are elected for two-year terms during non-partisan elections held in odd-numbered years. The town board elections are held in so-called off years, meaning a smaller number of voters usually turn out because there are no national contests on the ballot.

Pros and cons

Those who favor the two-year terms argue elected officials might remain more responsive to the majority opinion of the electorate.

Four-year term advocates believe the longer periods result in less staff work to bring new commissioners up to speed, as well as there being more experience among the commissioners when making big decisions like tax-rate changes.

Two decades ago the town enacted four-year terms, then soon went back to two-year terms.

The public hearing will take place 6 pm Monday June 19,  in Town Hall on Catawba Avenue.

Other business

The commissioners approved the 2024 budget for ElectriCities, which will retain the same electric rates for all customers. ElectriCities serves the eastern portion of town.