Council election: Candidates needed 2013.05.08

Written by David Green.

This isn't the first time that Morenci has become the town where no one wanted to be mayor. At least that's the way it's looking as the deadline approaches for candidates to file petitions. With the May 14 filing date just around the corner, no one has turned in a petition to run for mayor and no one has filed to fill any of the three expiring city council positions.

That situation could change quickly—people often wait until the end in hopes of seeing who else might be filing—but it does seem likely that at least one appointment is on the horizon. It's not easy coming up with four citizens willing to give up a lot of their free time to help lead city government.

That's the sort of candidate we would hope to see on the ballot—someone who would take the job seriously and give it more time than a mere appearance at a council meeting twice a month.

That's not the only situation where city residents are sought. Less than a week remains before the deadline passes to sign up for a seat on the commission to consider changing Morenci's City Charter. Despite newspaper stories, public notices and talk around town, only one person has returned a petition, leaving the commission short by eight members.

We wonder if this indicates a general lack of interest in changing the charter. It's a time-consuming project that comes with some cost, but maybe it won't happen at all if few people want to tackle the project.

Reasons to update the charter include removing some terms that no longer apply—such as the word “constable”—and changing the way city government works so that department heads—the city supervisor and the police chief—would report to the administrator instead of to city council as is done now. By state law, the library director reports to the library board of directors.

The way it looks now, changing the charter isn't going to happen, either from disinterest or a sense that it shouldn't be done. Eight more commissioners are needed, with only six days remaining.

 

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
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    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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