Effort to reduce Aberdeen City Council size fails

-Originally posted on March 28, 2019-

A resolution to look at reducing the size of the Aberdeen City Council failed on Wednesday.

Aberdeen City Council President Tawni Andrews introduced the resolution that would put a measure on the General Election ballot for voters to decide if the city council size should change from 12 to 7. In the resolution, it would amend the Charter of the city, taking 2 representatives from each ward and instead have a single council member from the wards as well as an at-large council person.

Only 2 cities within Washington still have a 12 person council size, with Aberdeen and Hoquiam the remaining larger government.

Discussions to reduce the size of the council within both cities has been brought up a number of times, failing to move forward.

9 council members were required to move the option to the ballot, with only 6 voting in favor on Wednesday.

Ward Council Member Vote
1 Tawni Andrews Yes
1 James Cook No
2 Kathi Prieto Yes
2 John Maki No
3 Tim Alstrom Yes
3 Jeff Cook Absent
4 Karen Rowe Yes
4 Margo Shortt No
5 Peter Schave Yes
5 Jerrick Rodgers No
6 Frank Gordon No
6 Dee Anne Shaw Yes

For cities with charters, changing the form of government requires a charter amendment.

In order to change the size of the council in Aberdeen, state law dictates that this may be done through a resolution by the city council or by a petition process from the people, both of which are then followed by an election.

As a Code City without a charter, the same change in Hoquiam would be different according to research by KXRO.