Elections to change in Dublin, hearings set for input

The City Council could be undergoing some big changes after the elections in May.

During its regular meeting Monday night, the Council voted to hold two public hearings about switching city elections from the ward system to at-large. The hearing will be held Friday and Monday at 6 p.m., with a special meeting set after the Monday meeting for council members to vote on the switch.

Under the current system, two representatives are picked from each of the city’s four wards. At-large elections would see residents voting from a pool of candidates for the entire city. The number of council members would also drop from eight to five.

There are four seats facing elections in May, those of Darrell Curry, Cliff Jackson, Layne Golden and Fred Lisso. If elections are switched to at-large, any incumbents would face each other and challengers in vying for a single seat.

Those in favor of the ward system argue that it allows for direct representation on the council so that every part of a city receives equal attention. Those who argued for the change have noted that it is difficult to find candidates for each of the wards and that some elections see multiple candidates for one ward and single candidates for others. 

To apply for the next election, the change has to be approved before filing starts for City Council elections on Jan. 17.

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