Process For Council To Change To All At-Large Members

Sheldon, Iowa — Two new City Councilmen are set to be sworn in at the next Sheldon City Council meeting. Tom Eggers will fill the at-large seat vacated by Zach Sawyer, with Shawn Broesder representing Ward 2, following the departure of Randy Fonkert. Neither Sawyer or Fonkert sought reelection in November. In Ward 2, there was no name on the ballot, allowing Broesder to win with a half-dozen write-in votes.

At a recent council meeting the topic came up of whether Sheldon should do away with the city’s ward system, and elect all five council members at-large, since no one filed papers from Ward 2 in the recent election.

Here at KIWA, we were curious about what the process of switching to all at-large council members would look like.

We talked to Sheldon City Attorney Micah Schreurs who said that, in his opinion, as long as the city of Sheldon didn’t change their type of government, a change in the way council people are elected could be done through code amendments. Schreurs says that Sheldon has a Mayor-Council-Appointed City Manager type of government that wouldn’t be effected by changing how council people are chosen.

Schreurs said he believes that a “fair number” of City Ordinances would need to be amended to make the change. Each amendment would require notice to the public, as well as readings at multiple council meetings before any changes could go into effect.

While the change to an all at-large selection isn’t likely to happen anytime soon, it’s interesting to know what the procedure would be, should the council choose to make that change in the future.



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