A Half-Good/Half Bad Idea From NCC

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on November 28, 2018 6 Comments

Karen Hartley-Nagle’s absence from last night’s County Council meeting reminded me that I wanted to talk about this.  I’ve come around to agreeing with Councilman Smiley that the members of County Council should elect their own Council president.  Not just because we’ve had some horrible Council presidents, including the current embarrassment.  But also b/c, as Smiley says, the President has very little responsibility, and there’s no need to elect the President countywide.

Having said that, I have a major issue with Smiley’s resolution.  Here it is:

Councilman George Smiley introduced the resolution that would create an at-large 13th council member position after the 2020 election–or if the current seat becomes vacant before then–council would select a president for a two-year term.

Respectfully, that makes no sense to me.  First of all, you don’t really need an odd number of council members. You need only look at the US Senate to see that. However, if you want 13 members, it makes no sense for 12 to be elected in councilmanic districts and for the 13th to represent the entire county. Just whose interests would that 13th councilperson represent? If you want 13, simply provide that, following the upcoming redistricting which will be in place for the 2022 elections, you go from 12 to 13 councilmanic districts. No big deal.  Since you are subtracting the position of elected Council President, you’re also not increasing the number of elected officials.

And, two years with 12 members is not gonna cause any big problems. Especially since, to quote former MLB manager Gene Mauch, “Sometimes you add by subtracting.” That would be the case by excising Karen Hartley Nagle from the county payroll. So, go with 12 for the 2021-2022 session, then revert to 13 for the 2022  elections.

You’re welcome.

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  1. Alby says:

    Or just create 13 council districts.

  2. Rufus Y. Kneedog says:

    I had lunch with Mayor Baker a number of years ago (long story) and I asked him a similar question about why the City had at-large seats. His answer was that it is helpful to have some reps looking out for the best interests of the City as a whole and not just their district. He gave some examples which escape me now but his explanation made a lot of sense.

    • Even if Baker was correct, the sheer geographical magnitude of the county as opposed to the city would make it almost impossible to ‘look out for the best interests of the county’ as a whole.

      Who in their right mind would want to run for an at-large county council seat where you would have to campaign in every nook and cranny of NCC? It’s not at all like running at-large in the City.

  3. Joshua W says:

    All legislatures should have an odd number of members in order to avoid a tie. The Senate functions because it has a dedicated tie-breaker in the Vice-President.

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