The recommendations of the study group were presented to council on Sept. 7.
Recommendation 1: City Council should transition from two-year to four-year terms
- Extending time between elections enables City Council to better manage the complexities of governing Raleigh
Recommendation 2: City Council should adopt staggered terms whereby all district City Councilmembers are elected one side of the cycle, and the Mayor and all At-Large City Councilmembers are elected on the other side of the cycle.
- Longer terms will help City Council maintain a heightened focus on strategic initiatives
- Eliminates the possibility of an entire City Council being defeated in a single election
- Establishes political stability that is more conducive to policy development and effective implementation
- 2022 - One group of City Councilmembers will run for four-year terms, while a second group will run for two-year terms, with the Mayor being included in one of those two groups.
- 2024 - The group who ran for two-year terms in 2022 will run in the 2024 election for four-year terms.
- 2026 and beyond - All City Councilmember and Mayoral elections will be for four-year terms.
- Disclaimer: City Council will have to (1) agree to recommendation #1 and transition from two-year to four-year terms; and (2) decide which group will run for two-year and four-year terms in 2022.
Recommendation 3: Increase total compensation for the Mayor and City Council
- Raleigh City Council members make less than their counterparts in Durham, Greensboro, Fayetteville, and Winston-Salem
- Total compensation considered as a part of the budget process; Council could adopt the increase in the 22-23 budget
- Higher total compensation will result in more diverse candidates
- Mayor - currently $27,550 proposed $45,911
- Council - currently $19,725 proposed $37,248
Recommendation 4: City Council should move elections to even years to spur greater voter turnout
- Already completed
- Efficient way to generate a higher voter turnout
- Enhanced voter education and awareness
Recommendation 5: City Council should direct staff to develop and implement a comprehensive voter engagement program
- The Office of Community Engagement will launch a Voter Education Program that provides residents with balances and objective information to assist in their decision-making process to help Raleigh residents become active and informed voters.
Recommendation 6: City Council should increase its size to nine by adding one district seat
- New maps - additional district seat option for 2024
- Odd number avoids deadlocks
- Nine Council seats falls between the average size of North Carolina peer cities
- District Councilmembers have lower financial barrier to entry, more likely to attract diverse, non-traditional candidates
- At-large seat can be added in 2022 so long that spring deadline (April/May) is met