The last of three scheduled public education meetings on the Mesquite City Council’s new single-member district structure was held on May 23 at the Florence Recreation Center.
The meetings were held to offer the community an opportunity to learn about district boundaries, insight into serving on City Council, an understanding of the council-manager form of government and the meeting agenda process as well as details on how City Council meetings are conducted.
There were also presentations on the city’s budget and instructions for those interested in filing for their candidacy to serve on the council. City Manager Cliff Keheley recapped how this began with the city charter change in May 2018. The mayor is elected at-large and still is. Following the charter change there are now six new single-member districts, term limits and a change in election date.
“The single-member districts are six individual council districts where the council members are voted by people who live in those specific districts. We used to be under an at-large electoral system,” Keheley said.
Both council members and the mayor have term limits, but the council members can now only serve a maximum of four two-year terms. They would then need to take a break before they can serve again.
The election was also moved from May to November.
“The intent of this, from the citizens group, was to try and encourage more voter turnout. There was a concern that not many people voted in the May elections and the hope was more people would be familiar with the November date and come out to vote,” Keheley said.
The city also no longer has staggered terms; all position will be up for election in November.
For more information on how Mesquite’s local government operates, view this meeting on the city’s Youtube channel at CityofMesquiteTexas.
For information on the November election, visit Cityofmesquite.com/2019cityelections.