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.

 

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