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May 25, 2017

Proposed reduction in city council size defeated


Barbara Womack
Grainger Today Correspondent

BLAINE – The Blaine Board of Mayor and Aldermen rejected a proposal by Alderman Charlie McKnight Monday to reduce the size of the board from 10 to five members. The ordinance would have eliminated five aldermen, leaving four aldermen and the mayor to conduct city business. To pass, it required a two-thirds majority of the entire board, but only had five votes in support. Voting in favor were McKnight and fellow aldermen Marvin Braden, Michael Hopson, Darrell Williams and Michael Fennell. Opposed were Aldermen Larry Edwards and Ronnie Kitts and Mayor Patsy McElhaney. Alderman Jimmy Langley was absent.While the issue of board size appears settled for now, term limits are on the agenda for the May meeting. Edwards sought to make it a part of Monday’s vote, but was advised by city attorney Shelley Wilson to make it a separate question. Under Edwards’ proposal, the mayor and aldermen would be limited to two consecutive four-year terms. After sitting out one term, they would be eligible to run again. When he mentioned limiting the mayor to two terms, McElhaney quickly shot back, “I’m not running again (in 2018).”Edwards also suggested the ordinance would not affect him. He is in his first term that expires next year. “I won’t be around then,”he said.

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