Oregon voters to decide council member terms - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Oregon voters to decide council member terms

OREGON, OH (Toledo News Now) - An issue on the ballot could change the way Oregon City Council works.

If voters say yes to the issue, it will change the way City Council elections are conducted in Oregon. The question at hand is whether council members should be elected every two or four years.

All seven members of council are up for election every two years. If voters approve this charter change it would change to every four years on a staggered basis. This means there would still be elections every two years, but four seats will be in play during one election: three seats and the mayor.

Council members for the change say this is how most communities deal with council elections. They say it will allow council members to focus on the issues, rather than worrying about running for office every other year.

"If you have a four-year term, you can bring in something that maybe on the surface looks controversial, but the end product is something that's better for the city. It gives them a chance to put a program through, implement it, and then see the outcome so you see how you've done," explained Thomas Susor, an Oregon City Councilman.

Those opposed say the current system has worked fine and the House of Representatives has the same system.

"It's completely unnecessary. There are no savings. There are no efficiencies to be realized. People will still have to vote every two years for members of council. The only thing that will change is that members of council will become less accountable," said Jerry Peach Oregon City Councilman.

Staggered terms have been up for a vote before in 1990 and 2002. Both times it was turned down.

The charter change will be Issue 4 on the Oregon ballot.

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