Election change probably right move

We agree with Alpena Clerk Anna Soik that the Alpena Municipal Council should move its elections from odd-numbered years to even-numbered years, even though it would mean an automatic extension of councilmembers’ terms.

Soik made the recommendation because, if the council held elections in even-numbered years, it could ride the same ballot with gubernatorial and presidential elections. The city would then share the cost of running that election, instead of usually going it alone in odd-numbered years.

Soik said the last city election in November 2021 cost the city $10,751. That amount will likely go up, she said, because of the increased workload from increasingly popular mail-in balloting.

“Not only is there increased cost, but there is an incredible amount of work put into the election that begins months prior,” Soik said in her report.

To line up with the even-year election schedule, the council would extend the terms of Mayor Matt Waligora and Councilmen Mike Nowak and Danny Mitchell to the end of 2024 and the terms of Mayor Pro-tempore Cindy Johnson and Councilwoman Karol Walchak the end of 2026.

We’re OK with that, if it means the city could save thousands of dollars every two years.

Each of those councilmembers were duly elected and have served well, and extending their terms by another year in the name of fiscal responsibility just makes sense.

The council considered the election change earlier this week, but postponed the vote because one councilmember was not physically present at the meeting.

We hope they take up the vote and go ahead and make the change.


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