GLADWIN COUNTY – Should the cities of Beaverton and Gladwin consider changing their election years? This was a question brought before the city councils on Monday, Nov. 18 by Gladwin County Clerk Laura Brandon-Maveal. 

Currently both cities run their elections every two years on the odd year schedule. Both just concluded their election season and re-elected both city mayors and city council members. 

“I would like some consideration from the council or open discussion to work with your civil council on phasing you through to that even year election,” Brandon-Maveal said. “By doing that you would have zero election cost.”

This past election cost the City of Gladwin around $5,000. By running elections on the even years both cities would be running on the county ballot. 

“You would have no cost, the state of Michigan and the county would  absorb that, because you would be another piece on the ballot,” Brandon-Maveal said.

Both Beaverton and Gladwin schools have already gone through this process. Previously the school districts had stand alone May elections, and went through the process to be put on the even year ballot. 

Gladwin County Comissioner Ron Taylor formerly sat on the Gladwin School Board. “It worked out nice and it saved a ton of money,” Taylor said. 

In addition to saving the cities money, they would be likely to have a better voter turn out. In the November 2019 election both cities had only a small percentage of the over-all population turnout to vote. 

“I do think it’s a better representation of your voters that come out and vote for a full ticket, vs who we pick and choose to get to the polls to vote,” Brandon-Maveal said.

Changing the election year would require an amendment to each cities’ charter and then a resolution vote at council to extend or shorten existing terms.

This issue is set to be discussed at upcoming city council meetings. A group of Gladwin community members plan to discuss the change with the council at the meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 5 p.m. at Gladwin City Hall. Beaverton’s City Council meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 17. 

 During city council meetings, members of the public are alloted a two-minute time slot for public comment. 

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