The City Council voted 15-7 in committee Thursday to hold a special election on March 3 (Super Tuesday) for the Northland project.
But before that decision could be formally ratified, five councilors, lead by Councilor Emily Norton, used a parliamentary move to postpone an official decision.
Norton along with Councilors Ciccone, Kalis, Markiewicz and Malakie exercised what’s known as a “charter privilege” to postpone the decision to the next regular council meeting on Jan. 21.
The four all spoke earlier in opposition to the March 3 date so it’s reasonable to assume that they exercised the maneuver operating under the belief that delaying the decision until Jan. 21 would make it impossible for the election to be held on March 3 because of the time it takes to print ballots (see memo from the City Clerk David Olson on this here).
But after the charter action, City Council President Susan Albright announced that Olson has determined the ballots can indeed be printed as long as they’re delivered to the printer by Jan. 22. There will be an added $3,000 rush fee, Albright said but that’s still makes holding the vote on March 3, about $107,000 less expensive than if held on any date other than March 3.
So unless Norton and her fellow charterers can convince their colleagues (Laredo and Wright were also no votes, Baker and Gentile were absent) to change their minds (or if there is some other unknown move they can employ) it would appear that the vote will be held on March 3. But, the cost just went up by $3,000 and we won’t know that for sure until Jan. 21.