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Opinion: Former Stephenville mayor voting YES to propositions 1 and 2.

Elections are important and so is your vote. The upcoming Stephenville election will determine the future organization of the city council.

The proposed Proposition #1 and #2 are both good changes for the local government structure of Stephenville. We need our elected officials to be both accountable to the citizens they serve as well as informed in the processes of municipal government in order to provide effective leadership.

Voting YES for Proposition 1 will decrease the number of positions on the council. It may seem odd that fewer members will result in better decisions, but my experience during six years on the council supports this conclusion. Less is sometimes more.

It is often more effective for a small group to stay focused on all factors impacting a decision. In a larger group, a stray point can consume or distract members from the key points. This distraction may slow decisions or, in the worst case, lead to bad decisions.

Other benefits of a reduced council include increased competition for available seats during elections. This will result in more discussion of issues and force candidates to learn from citizens during the campaign election process.

Candidates who are elected with no opposition will have limited exposure to the various views in our community.

Also, a smaller council will force the council to rely on the entire group’s participation in decisions, rather than allowing small committees to decide issues without the full council’s input. Voting Yes for Proposition 2 will allow council members to remain in office for up to six years. The addition of two years may seem like a minor change, but in the “life” of a councilmember this change will be very significant.

Why? First, municipal government is not simple. An elected official may have a great passion for service and impeccable integrity, but it takes time to understand the bureaucracy of city government.

With only four years, a councilmember is challenged to fully understand the “process” in order to make improvements or enhance results. There is also the potential for a very dangerous scenario where unelected city staff can, overtime, run the city. While this is not the current situation, it can happen.

Municipal government, all government for that matter, needs checks and balances. The staff works for the council and both the council and staff work for the citizens. A council with only four years to serve will be very challenged to provide the oversight and leadership expected by the citizens.

Before term limits were enacted, I served for three, two-year terms. Six years is adequate and based on the Biblical principle of work and rest.

Exodus 23:10-11a “Now you shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, but in the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie uncultivated.” Please vote YES for Proposition #1 and #2 on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Kenny Weldon,



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