Shelve it…again

? The bill to move local elections to the fall ballot is still unnecessary and counterproductive.

It?s back. The silly bill that surfaced a year ago has surfaced again in the Kansas Legislature. The political machine in northeast Kansas is pushing SB171, a proposal that would change city and school board elections from April to November. The alleged goal of the bill is to increase voter participation by having local elections included on the same ballot as federal, state and county offices. It also would require people running for city offices and school boards to stipulate their party affiliation.

We said this last year and we?ll say it again: This passage of this bill will harm small cities and school districts more than it could possibly help them. Small towns and school districts are far better off when partisanship is not part of the voting conversation, and candidates are evaluated on the basis of their vision, reputation and local involvement. As Hillsboro City Administrator Larry Paine told the city council before it approved a resolution asking for the demise of the bill: ?There is no Republican or Democrat way to fix a pothole.?

As many local observers have noted, this is bill is designed to address a problem that simply doesn?t exist. Shelve it…again. ?DR

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