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Reader Poll: Should Jacksonville Move City Elections?

BallotBoxThis Fall, voters in Jacksonville will get the chance to weigh in on a proposal to push city elections back from Spring of 2011 to the Fall of 2011.

Currently, municipal elections are held the year following a gubernatorial election. That means voters would head to the polls next March and any run-offs needed would be held in May. The problem with that schedule, critics argue, is that when new councilmembers take office in July they'll only have until September to tackle the city's billion dollar budget.

The change, if it passes, is aimed at giving newly elected councilmembers more time to work on the budgeting process.

It may also cause chaos for some of the already declared candidates for local office, who will have an extra six months injected into their campaign plans. Mike Tolbert, a consultant working for the Jim Bailey for mayor campaign, told the Florida Times-Union that: "It's like playing in the Super Bowl and then at halftime they add another two quarters."

Critics of moving the elections also note that current officeholders will have their terms extended by an extra six months in office.

Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland has taken a different view. He maintains that the local elections should be synced up with the gubernatorial cycle and voters should choose candidates in all races at the same time. This would result in an estimated $3 million savings for the City of Jacksonville at a time when budgets are tight across the board.

We want to know what you think... voting in our poll will be open until Tuesday, March 23rd at noon. Full results will be posted on the site on March 24th.


3 Responses »

  1. Be smart! Combine the elections!

  2. I agree with Holland. Not only would it save money to combine the election but would most likely result in a better voter turn-out at the polls. Moving the election to the fall DOES NOT save the city any money. Also, is it within the current law to extend term limits?