The Newton City Council will meet Wednesday night in a special session to either repeal last month’s 17-7 super-majority Northland vote or to set a date for a special election.

While a repeal is unlikely, as City Clerk David Olson explained in a memo last week, the council has essentially three general choices when it comes to scheduling a date:

On March 3 in conjunction with the Super Tuesday presidential primaries (at a cost of approximately $32,917)

Sometime between mid-March and early May (at a cost of approximately $145,902)

At the next municipal election on Nov. 2, 2021 (where presumably it would be part of the regular ballot at no added expense).

Olson’s memo also contains a lot of historical data on voter turnout, suggesting that turnout on March 3 could be 20 to 30 percent points higher than a standalone spring election where Northland is the only item before voters.

As we saw during a brief debate at Monday’s council meeting (go to the 22:24 mark on the video below), this is going to be contentious. There’s also a very good chance that a minority of four councilors will exercise a parliamentary move known as a “charter privilege” which will postpone the decision until the Jan. 21 meeting, which will likely rule out the chance of the vote happening on Super Tuesday.

Here’s the question for this thread (and let’s try to stay on topic here):

When do you think this vote should take place? March 3; later in the spring: or in 2021?  And please tell us why.


Newton City Council from NewTV Government on Vimeo.

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