Proposition 9: Selection of Mayor

Direct election - or - Council selects one member of Council

Proposal

Proposition 9 is a City of Washougal ballot measure for the November 3, 2020 election. It allows voters to decide whether to directly elect the Mayor every four years, or, to continue to have the Council select one member of the Council as Mayor every two years. This proposition does not affect our current form of government nor the role of the Mayor – it only affects how the Mayor is selected. In either scenario, the Mayor is a voting member of the Council.

If a majority votes yes, Council Position No. 1 will be designated as the Mayor position and will be elected at-large to a four-year term beginning with the November 2021 election. If a majority votes no, Council will continue to select one member of the Council as Mayor every two years. 

Why is the Proposal on the Ballot?

In May 2018, the Council adopted a resolution placing a change in form of government proposition on the November 2018 ballot. Proposition 8 passed, and in late November 2018 our form of government changed from Mayor-Council to Council-Manager. State law provides for two options for selecting the Mayor in a Council-Manager city. In the May 2018 resolution, the Council indicated that if Proposition 8 passed they would place a subsequent proposition on a ballot asking if voters want to directly elect the Mayor every four years, or, stick with the default method of selecting the Mayor wherein the Council selects one member of the Council as Mayor every two years. Proposition 9 asks this question.

Alternate Method – Mayor Selection (Yes Vote)
Council Position No. 1 is designated as the Mayor position, which is elected at-large by voters every four years

Default Method – Mayor Selection (No Vote)
Council selects one member of Council as Mayor every two years

If Proposition 9 passes, how will Washougal transition to directly electing the Mayor? 

State law provides that if Proposition 9 passes, that Council Position No. 1 be designated as the Mayor position, and, at the next election when Council Position No. 1 is on the ballot that it be an election for Mayor. Council Position No. 1 is next on the ballot in November 2021. If Proposition 9 passes, the November 2021 election will include the Mayor position. 

What Happens if Proposition 9 Does Not Pass? 

If Proposition 9 does not pass, the selection of the Mayor will stay “as is” – the Council selects one member of the Council as Mayor every two years. 

What Do Other Washington Cities Do? 

Of the fifty (50) “non-charter code cities” operating under the Council-Manager form of government, including Washougal, only Olympia directly elects the Mayor. Two (2) of the five (5) cities with a city charter operating under the Council-Manager form of government directly elect the Mayor: Vancouver and Tacoma.

Related Documents

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