Precinct 20, Precinct 21, Council-At-Large and City Charter question on April 6th General Election ballot
The City of Pleasant Hill will place four issues on the April 6th General Election ballot. The City will hold elections for three council positions and seek an amendment to the City’s Charter.
City Council Precinct 20 and Precinct 21 will hold an election to fill council seats for a 2 year term. City Council-At-Large will be placed on the ballot to fill the remaining 1 year term vacated by Scott Todd. Candidate filing for these three seats continues through 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
The City will also place an issue before the voters whether to amend the City’s Charter as it relates to the filling of council and mayoral vacancies. Section 17 of the City’s Charter currently requires a special election to fill any vacated seat in an elected office and the amendment on the ballot, if approved, will allow for an appointment process.
The City Council does not have the authority to make a change to the City’s Charter. The Charter can only be amended by an affirmative vote of the citizens. The current special election process has been utilized four times in the last five years. This process leaves seats vacant for an extended period of time, up to one-fourth of the term of office. This creates practical difficulties in governing and deprives the citizens of proper representation. Special elections come with an additional cost for hosting the election.
The City Council is placing this issue before the voters to bring the City’s Charter in alignment with most other Missouri cities to allow for an appointment in the event of a mayoral or council vacancy. As proposed, the appointee fills the vacancy until the next general election for city officers which is held annually in April.
The ballot language will read as follows:
In lieu of requiring a special election to fill vacancies, shall Section 17 of the Charter of the City of Pleasant Hill be amended as follows?
Should a vacancy occur on the City Council, then the Mayor, or the person acting as the Mayor, shall appoint, with the consent of a majority of the Council, a person to fill said vacancy until the next general election for city officers. Should a vacancy occur in the office of the Mayor, then nominations of a successor may be made by any member of the City Council and selected with the consent of a majority of the Council.
Any provisions of the City Charter inconsistent with this language shall be repealed.
The statutory deadline for submitting questions on the April 6 general election ballot is Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Any questions related to the April 6 general election may be directed to the City Clerk Jessica Elliott.