On Nov. 6, 2012, the citizens of Clarinda will have the opportunity to vote to eliminate to antiquated 3 ward voting system that is now in place.
I became aware of this need in 1996 when I moved from the north ward to the center ward. I was fortunate to be elected as a councilman at large so I did not have to resign my position. It came back to the forefront recently when Dave Long moved to the south ward and was required to resign because he was elected to represent only the middle ward.
In a town the size of Clarinda we do not have a great concentration of race, nationality, age or economic well being that is normally present in the large city ward system.
If someone has a city council question they contact the council person that they feel the most comfortable with - not their ward representative. In my 10 years as a city councilman most people who contacted me were only concerned that I would listen to and act on their concerns. They could care less where I resided.
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There have been several occasions in the last 10 years that we have struggled to find someone to run for a seat that was being vacated. This problem is worse when the seat being vacated is restricted to a particular ward.
Another major concern is unequal representation. The Clarinda Correctional Facility counts as part of our population. If we have 1000 prisoners incarcerated that ward’s council person is really only representing about 800 citizens that are potential voters. The other wards are representing about 1800 potential voters.
This is not a ploy to make it difficult for any present or future council person to be elected. It is a request to let us elect the best people, with the best intentions, to take Clarinda into the future.
I greatly appreciate your consideration on this matter.