Public Hearing Scheduled Over Culver’s Proposed Switch to Primary Election System

Culver residents will soon have the chance to weigh in on how candidates are nominated for elected town offices. The town council Tuesday continued discussing the possibility of letting voters choose candidates for council seats and the clerk-treasurer’s position during the May primary, according to Clerk-Treasurer Karen Heim. Under the current system, parties choose their candidates during a town convention.

Heim says a public hearing on the matter is planned for the October 9 council meeting. “The council just wants to have a public hearing to receive formal public input,” she explains, “and give people the opportunity to either support it or say, ‘No, we like the convention method better.’”

After that, council members will consider adopting an ordinance, officially making the change. If approved, Heim says Culver candidates could start appearing on the primary ballot as soon as next May. “Next year, there’ll be three seats open, plus the clerk-treasurer position,” she says. “If it passes – it needs to pass by the end of the year – it would go into effect for 2019.”

Town Council President Ginny Bess Munroe recently voiced disappointment with the turnout in last month’s Republican town convention, after only 44 voters took part. Republicans Bill Cleavenger and Bill Githens along with Democrat Rich West are vying for the two available town council seats in November’s General Election.