Monticello council wards abolished after special election

Staff report

     A special election was held in Monticello on March 7. The single-issue public measure asked voters to consider whether the city's form of government needed to change.

   "Shall the City of Monticello change from its current council ward and at-large representation plan to an at-large council representation plan for all council members without ward residency requirements?"

   While the Jones County Supervisors won't canvas the results of the election until March 14, the official results shared by the Jones County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections show the vote passed.

   A total of 261 votes were cast, with 2,544 registered voters in Monticello. The measure needed a majority of votes to pass; 53.3 percent voted "yes," with 46.7 percent voting "no."

   It was a close vote with 139 votes versus 122.

   Voter turnout was just 10.3 percent.

   With the passage of the vote, all Monticello City Council members will be elected at-large in the Nov. 7 city and school board elections. Those elected in November will take office in January 2024.

   Monticello has six council members. The three highest vote getters will serve four-year terms; the next three highest vote getters will serve two-year terms. Thereafter, all council members will serve four-year terms.

   While not impacted by this special election, the mayor's seat will also appear on the Nov. 7 ballot, as it is a two-year term. That term limit is up.

   This election came about last fall when several citizens filed a petition to force a special election. At the Nov. 21 council meeting, the council voted to approve the special election.


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