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Reducing the number of city commissioners

Andy Ouriel • Oct 5, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Six of the seven candidates vying for the three contested seats support the notion of lowering the number of commissioners representing Sandusky.


They voiced their opinions to about 150 attendees during a Register political forum at Sandusky High School. The question: Would you reduce the number of city commissioners from seven to five? A change couldn’t come until commissioners review the city’s charter, which doesn’t occur until 2015.    



Here’s how the candidates responded:

“I would go from seven to three. I envy Perkins Township and Erie County because you only need (two people) to get something accomplished in these types of governments. In this government, you need to find three friends to get a 4-3 vote. We would still get good representation with three commissioners.”
— Dick Brady

“Let’s talk about reducing it and also increasing the pay. We get $100 a week, and it takes a lot of our time, but we enjoy doing it. I would say a commission of five would probably function a lot better.”
—John Hamilton, ex officio mayor

“I’m definitely not in support of reducing from seven commissioners to five. I went to a commissioners’ meeting, and sometimes they didn’t even have a quorum (or enough people to vote on measures) because they were sick or they came in late.”
—Patricia Ferguson

“I absolutely support reducing the number of commissioners.”
Diedre Cole, city commissioner

“Absolutely. When you have seven people on the commission, it’s too easy for someone to hide and sit in the weeds. You want to gain more cohesiveness? Then the commission needs to be reduced.”
—Dennis Murray Jr.

“I would absolutely support the notion of reducing (the number of commissioners) from seven to five. It can be very difficult to get seven minds in the same direction. Moving to five makes perfect sense.”
— Scott Schell

“I would support going down from seven to five commissioners.”
—Naomi Twine

Note: Commissioners are paid $5,200 a year. The ex officio mayor, one of seven city commissioners, receives $6,400 a year. Many candidates said they support raising the pay for commissioners and advocated higher pay.

Watch the debate in the player below

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