Monday, July 19, 2004

Arcane (But Entertaining) Procedural Change on August Ballot

The August 3, 2004 Primary Election will feature the important race for the 3rd Congressional District of Missouri, as well as Amendment One and Amendment Two to the Missouri Constitution.

However, there is also a proposed amendment to the City of St. Louis Charter which has nothing to do with Advance Saint Louis.

Under Proposition E, the date of municipal elections, held in April of odd-numbered years, would change slightly. This is Article II, Section One of the Charter.

The current language (not changed since the 1914 charter was adopted) reads:

"A general city election shall be held on the first Tuesday in April, 1915, and every two years thereafter."

The proposed language under Proposition E reads:

"A general municipal election shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in April, 2005, and every two years thereafter."

This is noteworthy only because it would prevent an election from happening on April Fools Day.

Curiously, though, the 2003 Municipal General Election was held on April 8, 2003, which was the first Tuesday after the first Monday, rather than the first Tuesday of April (which was in fact April 1st).

This suggests perhaps that election was held on the wrong date. By the charter, it should have been held on April 1st. Nevertheless, the results were certified and most the winners of that election still hold office -- including four members of the Board of Education.

This charter amendment requires 60% of the voters to approve it for passage, and was proposed by ordinance earlier this year. Ordinance 66192 was approved March 10, 2004. It was proposed initially as 2003 session Board Bill 366, by Board of Aldermen President Jim Shrewsbury, and Ward 14 Alderman Stephen Gregali.

Both were most recently re-elected at that same April 8, 2003 election. Neither is a big fan of the current Advance Saint Louis proposals.

No comments: