Former Aberdeen City Councilman Paul Fritts announced that he will place a measure on the November 2013 ballot to reduce the size of the Aberdeen City Council from 12 members down to 7.
Fritts says “Over and over I saw the same council members doing the lion’s share of the work with others just tagging along. It became frustrating watching some council members who never prepared themselves for the meetings by educating themselves on the issues they were voting on.” Fritts declined to point out specific members.
Fritts and fellow council member Tim Alstrom introduced a resolution to place the issue on the 2008 ballot. That resolution was voted down 8-4.
“It was somewhat disheartening to see how some members took the issue as an attack on them as opposed to a difference of opinion about an issue,” Fritts said.
To place a proposition on the ballot signatures must be collected from at least 15 percent of those who voted in the previous general election. Fritts tells KXRO that numbers received from Grays Harbor County Auditor Vern Spatz show 567 valid signatures will need to be collected.
Aberdeen and Hoquiam are the only cities in the state with 12 council members. Aberdeen has roughly 17,000 residents and consists of 12 square miles. By comparison, Seattle, with a population of 608 thousand and consisting of 142 square miles, only has nine council members.
A Facebook page has been set up for more information and upcoming petition sites at Reduce our Council on Facebook.