The cabal that runs New Brighton got their wish last year, finally ousting Gina Bauman, the turbulent priest of the city council. And to make sure they kept things the way they wanted, they changed the terms of their election to add an extra year to their terms, ostensibly to save money, or so they say.
Our friends at Enlighten New Brighton pick up the tale:
Ever since the New Brighton City Council gave themselves a one year term extension without the consent of the voters they have been actively trying to spin the situation to defend their unethical action. Their self serving, logically tortured arguments have come up in public meetings, official city publications, and a taxpayer financed campaign-style mailing. Regardless of the venue or vehicle the arguments are tired and lame, and apparently not impressing the voters.
The Council's unethical actions have also apparently gotten the attention of the Minnesota legislature, prompting language in an Election Omnibus Bill (SF3021) that includes language that clarifies that City Councils cannot change existing terms by changing the election cycle. During the debate on this legislation New Brighton City officials passionately, but futilely, testified against this provision with their usual specious (to put it politely) arguments.
SF3021 will almost certainly pass -- both the legislature and (crucially) Secretary of State Steve Simon support the bill, so there's almost no chance of a veto, although you never know what Mark Dayton will do, since most of the time he doesn't know, either.
Leave that aside, though. The larger point is this; twice now the New Brighton City Council has tried to change terms of elections to benefit their agenda. They are about to get slapped down again. Despite this, they persist in such behavior. It's a bad situation. We're continuing to keep an eye on their shenanigans.