City elections in New Brighton this fall have been called off.That's the only reasonable conclusion. But the mayor doesn't seem to get it:
A judge has decided that the city’s decision last year to switch to even-year elections, changing the terms of council members, was invalid under state law.
Ramsey County District Court Judge Lezlie Ott Marek also ruled Thursday that the city’s denial of City Council Member Gina Bauman’s petition challenging the switch — on the grounds that it didn’t follow the law — was wrong. Marek said the petition did follow the law.
Mayor Valerie Johnson said she was “disappointed in the ruling, but I have to say that I believe the city did everything properly.”How do we put this politely? That's delusional. Strib reporter David Peterson outlines the sequence of events nicely:
The dispute stems from the City Council’s decision on Nov. 10, 2015 — a week after the last election — to switch from odd- to even-year voting, lengthen the mayor’s term by a year and reduce the terms of other council members by a year.And let's not forget how the city council chose to handle Bauman's concerns about the change:
Bauman dissented, saying the council didn’t have the right to overrule voters on terms of office and that the question should have been put to the people.
In May, Bauman formally petitioned for a referendum. The city denied it, saying she hadn’t followed required technicalities. The judge this week disagreed, saying that she had “complied with all of the requirements.”
A dispute on the issue led last spring to Bauman’s censure by the council and the resignation of City Attorney Troy Gilchrist, whom Bauman had consulted about the petition.Let's review what happened. The city council made a change in elections that was invalid under state law. And when they were challenged on it, they censured the council member who was challenging the rule. They subsequently denied a petition seeking redress. And when the matter was brought to the district court, the city government got slapped down, big time and the ordinance was thrown out entirely. But Mayor Johnson thinks the city did everything properly. Perhaps delusional isn't a strong enough term.
There's more at the link. It's worth your time.