The Raleigh City Council’s possible changes

Screenshot of the city council meeting on Tues., July 6 via YouTube

The Raleigh City Council could be getting its first changes to its electoral framework since 1973 — including doubling term length, increasing compensation, and adding an additional council member

On Jan. 7, 2020, a group of citizens petitioned the city council to appoint a study group to look at ways to modernize council processes. The city council accepted the petition + appointed a 10-person study group on Nov. 4, 2020 to consider changes appropriate for the council. 

The study group has compiled a final report, and will be presenting their findings at the afternoon session of the city council meeting on Tues., Sept. 7 starting at 1 p.m. 

The group decided unanimously on 6 recommendations for the council: 

  • Transition from 2-year to 4-year terms
  • Adopt staggered terms — district city council members are elected on one side of the cycle, and the mayor and all at-large City council members are elected on the other side of the cycle
  • Increase compensation for the mayor + city council members — total compensation for the mayor would be increased from $27,550 to $45,911 and total compensation for city councilors would increase from $19,725 to $37,249
  • Move elections to even years — their data showed this would spur greater voter turnout
  • Have staff to develop a voter engagement program — could include a voter resource guide online or a Twitter account to reach people through social media
  • The city council should add 1 district seat to increase its size from 8 to 9 

The city council meeting is open for the public to watch. Join the live stream or watch via the city’s YouTube channel to hear the study group present the findings + answer questions and comments from the council.

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