Vote Yes in Brooklyn Center

October 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm Leave a comment

One principle that we stand for is bringing government closer to the citizens. For this reason we support both wards in every city, school district, and county as well as even year elections. On the ballot this November in Brooklyn Center is a measure that would change the city from electing council members “at large” to electing them by wards. The charter commission recommended the change by a 9-2 vote.  Not surprisingly, the status quo members and former members of the Brooklyn Center government aren’t happy about it. Here’s a letter from the editor from Carol Kleven of the city council.

On Nov. 6, vote no on the charter amendment for wards in Brooklyn Center. If passed, the amendment would change how the city council is elected. Don’t be fooled by empty rhetoric; the current system is superior for Brooklyn Center because it offers greater citizen representation at the city level.

Empty rhetoric? Talk about a condescending jerk. What someone disagrees with you and they are full of empty rhetoric?

In our city, all four council members are elected by all of the voters, making them responsible to every citizen. Instead of four council members working for you, adopting wards would mean only one would represent you. What if your ward representative is unresponsive to you? Can you expect a response from the other members who are focused primarily on their wards? Would changing to wards make council members more responsible to all of the city’s voters? Clearly it would not. Council members elected by all of the voters require a comprehensive understanding of the issues facing the whole city, not just the issues in one ward. Members elected by all of the city’s voters lead to better council decisions.

What? Wards ensure that every part of the city has representation and that they are treated equally! It’s not hard to understand. We know the REAL reason you don’t want this; it threatens your power.

Here is a better letter to the editor from Mark Yelich of the charter commission;

What do the cities of Robbinsdale, Crystal, Fridley, Brooklyn Park, Richfield, St. Louis Park, Champlin, and White Bear Lake have in common? They all have a ward system for electing their city council.  These cities have an average geographic area of 9 square miles and average population of 33,000.

Brooklyn Center is 8 square miles with a population of 30,529. Like all of our surrounding cities, incorporating wards with an at-large system is a good fit for Brooklyn Center. Our city has changed. What worked 35 years ago does not necessarily work for us now or in the future. When we consider the past 20-year history of our city, we realize accountability has been missing in our city leadership.

How will a ward system help? It will enable more residents to be engaged in the process of providing citizen leadership. It will provide more direct accountability between residents and their elected leaders. It will reduce the impact of special interest groups that attempt to manipulate local elections, to serve their own purposes rather than the city.

It will provide a more democratic election system with less confusing ballots and where each vote counts. The Brooklyn Center Charter Commission, one of the most broadly representative independent citizen groups in our city, voted 9-2 supporting the right of voters to make this change.  It is our duty to give this question careful consideration and then vote yes on Tuesday, Nov. 6, to amend the city charter.

Thank you for this letter and we encourage Brooklyn Center citizens to vote YES!


Entry filed under: Brooklyn Center, City Government, Community, Mayor.

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