Board of Supervisors doubts whether election by ward would bring out more candidates | NevadaAppeal.com

Board of Supervisors doubts whether election by ward would bring out more candidates

by Maggie O'Neill, Appeal Staff Writer

Since 1992, the committee has proposed that the election process be more open toward eliciting new candidates to run for supervisor positions. The committee suggested to the board that primary elections for supervisor be carried out within each of the four wards in Carson City, followed by a citywide general election of the candidates.

“There has been a common thread through each of (our) meetings and that is that there is a better way to elect supervisors,” said Shelly Aldean, chairwoman of the charter review committee. “I feel very strongly we needed to go on record that the committee is unanimous in support of this position.”

Members of the review committee said primary campaigns based in wards would make campaigning less expensive for candidates and dilute the advantage of the incumbent.

However, changing the primary election process to individual wards would push up the cost of elections, including the need for more voting machines and workers to run the machines. Voting machines cost $3,000 to $4,000.

Supervisor Pete Livermore felt that any changes in the election process should be brought to the people to vote on.

“Maybe the community needs to debate the issue on a community wide basis,” he said.

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Supervisor Richard Staub echoed Livermore’s stance.

“I try to look at the fiscal impact of these things,” Staub said. “It’s hard for this board and this board member to spend this kind of money. I agree with Livermore that this needs to go to the people.”

Yet, charter members felt different about the plan.

“The reason I support this particular proposal is I very much like the idea of ward primaries and city-wide generals,” said charter committee member Dave Cook. “I think that’s a very good idea. I understand the expense. My belief is the system should be made to perform as best as it can. I support this.”

The issue was up for discussion only before the board of supervisors.