Longer terms for top vote-getters

With five council seats up for election, Tracy City Council defines how 4-year, 2-year terms will be filled

By Per Peterson

The Tracy City Council on Monday made a decision that will shape the future of the council.

The addition of two new members in 2021 — which would bring to seven the total number of council members — has created an issue about term lengths. The only seat that is not up for election is Jeri Schons’.

“That means that five additional council members are going to be elected this fall,” Tracy City Administrator Erik Hansen said. “There are a couple of different ways we could do this. We need to make sure we get to the point where we have three council members elected in one period, and three council members in the other period — we can’t have it four and two, which is why some of these terms need to be two-year terms.”

Of the five council seats that will be open this election (that includes the addition of the two new members), three seats will be up for four-year terms, and two seats will be for two-year terms. The council was presented two options as to how to handle who would receive which term lengths: The first option (resolution) was to award the top three vote-getters the four-year terms, and the fourth and fifth vote-getters the two-year terms. The second option was to have the candidate indicate at the time of filing which term length they would prefer.

The council ultimately passed a resolution to award the top three vote-getters the four-year terms and the fourth and fifth vote-getters the two-year terms.

“You would vote for five in that case,” said Hansen.

“I think when you just vote for five, it tells you who the voters felt were the best five qualified,” council member Jeri Schons said.

Council member Dave Tiegs made the motion to approve the resolution that states the top three vote-getters receive the four-year term, while the second tier get the two-year term. George Landuyt seconded.

The decision had to be made Monday because the City needed to let the County know how it wished to move forward.

The mayoral seat will also be up for election. Tony Peterson is currently filling that position after the departure of Anthony Dimmers, and there are two years left on that term.

In other election-related news, the council passed a resolution to appoint the following people to be election judges for Tracy’s one precinct: Linda Rykhus, Vicki Streifel, Sheila Helleson, Mev Jackson, Rhonda Fredericks, Lois Schmidt, Tam Schons and Pam Cooreman. Head judges are Rykhus and Streifel.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.