Burkburnett to Change City Elections? - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Burkburnett to Change City Elections?

Burkburnett may be looking to change its city election structure.  A city official says some Burkburnett residents feel the city's current voting structure is not fair.

Right now the mayor is elected by Burkburnett's seven commissioners, not by the citizens.   City elections are also held at large. 

City Council met Monday, March 19 to discuss the election structure. 

City Councilman Chase Thornton said before the meeting that he was preparing to propose the city rethink it's election policy.  According to Thornton the current structure is making some residents feel they aren't being represented like they should be.

The voting structure was developed in the 1920's and was amended once in the 1960's.

Thornton says residents complain most that elected officials tend to come from one part of town only, not evenly across town.  They say the poorer neighborhoods have little to no representation.

Thornton feels a compromise could be the solution.

"If we can get one representative from each of those districts or precincts and then do two at large or three at large," said Thornton, "Then the mayor (election) at large, that would be kind of a balance."

He said,"I think that would be kind of a way to address all the concerns and that's kind of my big goal."

Mayor Carl Law said he would be in favor of the mayoral election process changing.  All seven commissioners decided to defer a motion on the item for now.  They have requested that city employees work to research Burkburnett's population.  After that the City Council will discuss what options there may be to develop voting districts. 

Taelor Rian, Newschannel 6. 

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