Battle Creek leaders approve mayoral office changes

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek
generic Battle Creek city commission_455997

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — The Battle Creek City Commission approved Tuesday to give voters a chance to weigh in on the mayoral office.

The proposal that could make the ballot will ask voters if the city should make changes to elect the mayor as a separate, at-large, office. If the changes are made, the city still will elect five ward commissions and three at-large commissioners. There would be a total of nine commissioners.

Under the proposal, a person cannot be both mayor and a city commissioner.

The vote for vice mayor will still be done by commissioners at the organization meeting after the election.

The commission approved the ballot question with a 7-2 vote.

Mayor Mark Behnke voted yes on the proposal, along with commissioners Susan Baldwin, Kaytee Faris, Kate Flores, John Griffin and Chris Simmons. Vice Mayor Sherry Sofia voted no along with Commissioner Jim Lance.

The original vote of 5-4 failed on Oct. 15. A 6-3 vote is required to pass.

Next, the city will send the proposal to the governor’s office to be approved. If it gets approved there, the new question will appear on the ballot in the primary election in March 2020. If voters approve it, the changes will begin for the general election in November 2020.

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