Voter registration books are open until 5 p.m. March 22 in the run-up to city elections in Iola and Moran on April 6.
Registration is required only by citizens who are not registered, have moved from their voting precinct or have not voted in the past two state general elections.
Registration may be done at city halls in Iola and Moran, at the Allen County clerk’s office, the Farm Service Center, 202 W. Miller Rd., and the Southeast Kansas Mental Health Department, 304 N. Jefferson Ave. Registration forms may be requested from the county clerk office by phone, 365-1407, or mail.
Voters in Iola will cast ballots at two sites.
Those who want to tell city commissioners what size of government they prefer in a non-binding election will vote at First Baptist Church, 801 N. Cottonwood St. Voting in the mayoral election — Bill Maness is seeking re-election — will be at the North Community Building, 505 N. Buckeye.
Three people in Moran, Michael E. Holman, Jerry Jackson and Jerry Wallis, are seeking three seats on the City Council. Voting will be at the Moran Senior/Community Center.
IN THE ADVISORY election, Iolans will have three choices: four commissioners and a mayor, six commissioners and a mayor and eight commissioners and a mayor.
At a referendum in April 2009 Iolans said they were dissatisfied with the current governing body’s size. If nothing had been done, existing governance by two commissioners and a mayor would have defaulted to eight and a mayor.
But, constitutional law gives cities home rule rights that include charter ordinances to establish such things as governing body size.
Commissioners appointed a committee of 14 citizens to recommend a charter ordinance. In a split decision on its part, the committee recommended six commissioners and a mayor. Also considered, and drawing support of six members, was four commissioners and a mayor. A body of eight and a mayor drew support, as well.
Subsequently, commissioners considered a motion to offer a charter ordinance that would have established a governing body of four commissioners and a mayor, which was withdrawn at the urging of Mayor Maness. They then ordered the non-binding multiple choice election.
After the election and assuming that commissioners then approve a charter ordinance, there will be recourse for citizens to petition for a referendum on it.
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