Endorsement: Pass Troutdale charter amendment on council elections
A proposed amendment to the Troutdale City Charter would change the process for electing city councilors. We're going to recommend a yes vote on Measure 26-212.
Under the current configuration, three council positions are filled each general election. These races usually have one or more candidates, who run for specific seats on the council. That's not unusual. That's how many cities handle their elections.
But when passed, Measure 26-212 will convert Troutdale's council elections from races for specific seats, to a general race against all other candidates in one group. Residents would be allowed to cast votes up to the total number of positions being filled. The three candidates receiving the most votes win the election.
Among other things, this would eliminate the possibility that a candidate would run unopposed.
It also would reduce the likelihood of mudslinging that commonly arises through contested races between two rivals. Now, candidates would run against everyone who files for a chance to serve on the council. It forces candidates to campaign on their own merits, rather than on insults of their opponents.
In the last couple years, Troutdale politics have taken a positive turn. But that wasn't true just four years ago, when council elections were punctuated with insults and accusations. Measure 26-212 may never fully prevent ugly politics, but it at least would force candidates to work harder at telling their own stories.
Other cities have tried this method, and it works. The Estacada City Council, for example, uses this process, and rarely do you hear a disparaging word from one candidate against another in that community.
For continued peaceful City Council elections, Troutdale's voters should say yes to Measure 26-212.
— The Outlook
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