Referendum Yes / No Case
This summary of the Yes / No case for the September Referendum was prepared for Orange City Council by the Western Research Institute.
The 'Yes' case
~ The position of Mayor should be determined directly by the
electors and not elected representatives
- Popular election of the Mayor would give predictability about the style and direction of the Council leadership and stability to the office for a period of four years.
- The Mayor would be able to provide leadership, adhere to agreed strategic directions and influence long term planning and policy setting
- Election of the Mayor by the people would remove the internal politics of Councillors each year during the time leading up to the election of Mayor.
- Popular election of Mayor would give residents an opportunity to consider Mayoral candidates' policies and vote accordingly.
- A popularly elected Mayor will have a high public profile and clear public endorsement.
- Popular election of Mayor would make the position of Mayor more accountable to residents and give the office a stronger community focus.
- The possibility of a Mayor being elected ‘out of the hat’ is avoided in the event of two or more Councillors receiving equal votes from their peers.
- Mayor is chosen on personal calibre, rather than alliances with other councillors
The 'No' case
~ The elected Council should determine the leader of the Council
- Popular election could benefit financially resourced candidates.
- Neither electors nor the Council would be able to change an unsatisfactory Mayor before the next election.
- The elected council should elect their leader and not have one imposed on them and with whom they may not be able to work constructively or cooperatively.
- Individuals may pick a Mayor based on their popularity and not on their ability.
- Councillors should have the option of assessing the Mayor on an annual basis and be able to change that person if she/he does not perform to expectation, or if conflict develops.
- A popularly elected Mayor and his/her planning and policy directions, views and actions may not have the support of the majority of Councillors.
- If the Mayor resigned or vacated the Office of Mayor for any reason, the community may have to meet the high costs of a bi-election to determine a new Mayor.
- The four year Mayoral term may be too great a commitment for some candidates to make and this may limit the nominations.
- The positions of Prime Minister and Premier are not elected by popular Vote and the popular election of the Mayor would be inconsistent with this.