Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sweet November

A few readers have asked the Growler offline about the possibility that the dates for Alexandria elections will be switched from May to November, when presumably the lure of state and national races would ensure better voter turnout and participation in local contests.

In early March 2007, Mayor William D. Euille appointed the Alexandria Election Process Review Committee to "examine and make recommendations on possible options to not only move City elections from May to November, but to create staggered terms for Council and the School Board and revise Council and School Board compensation, based upon comparability with other jurisdictions in the region."

Now we are learning there will be a public hearing in June on this very topic. Pencil it into your calendar or thumb it into the Crackberry.

Notice of Public Hearing

The Alexandria Election Process Review Committee will hold a public hearing on Saturday, June 2, at 10 a.m. at City Hall, located at 301 King St., in the Council Chambers, second floor. The Committee has met several times to review Alexandria’s election process and related issues, and is preparing a document that will be distributed to the public in early May on the issues under its consideration. For each issue, the document will give some background, and describe current City practice and any changes to the practice that are under consideration.

The public hearing will allow the public to respond to the document.

Since 1973, the Alexandria City Charter has provided for Mayoral and City Council elections to be held every three years on the second Tuesday in May. School Board elections have been held on the same schedule since 1994. The Constitution and Code of Virginia allow cities such as Alexandria to hold elections for Mayor, City Council, and the School Board in May or November. The State allows terms of office to run from one to four years in length. The Code specifies that elections and terms for School Board members must be the same as those for City Council.

For additional information on the Alexandria Election Process Review Committee, call Bernard Caton, Legislative Director for the City of Alexandria, at 703-838-3828, or e-mail bernard.caton@alexandriava.gov.