State Rep. Jim Gotto says he won’t move forward this session with a legislative effort to change the timeline of Metro’s elections, which would have bumped the next mayoral and council races from 2015 to 2016.
“Not this year,” Gotto told The City Paper of the measure.
Gotto, a former two-term Metro councilman, had added an amendment to a caption bill last year to change future Metro election dates to allow more time between the release of U.S. Census Bureau statistics and the subsequent election. Last spring, Metro had to expedite its local redistricting process, with census data made available in March, to accommodate the August general election.
The proposed change would have forced Metro’s local races to coincide with the presidential election beginning November 2016. It would have added an additional year to Mayor Karl Dean’s second term, which ends in 2015.
Gotto’s proposal, which is attached to a state Rep. Curry Todd-sponsored caption bill, is on the state calendar for Jan. 23. But Gotto said Todd plans to remove this particular amendment.
“It’s not going anywhere,” Gotto said.
The Metro Council last April approved a non-binding memorializing resolution that put the council on record opposing any state legislation that would change local election dates to coincide with November partisan elections.
Gotto said he hopes Davidson County’s state delegation will sit down with Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors and others to discuss Metro’s election timeline and the release of new census numbers, which come out every 10 years.
“We need to do something,” he said.
“We shouldn’t have rushed it up that much, I don’t think,” Gotto said of last year’s local redistricting process. “I think we did some things that probably weren’t the best. But, we got it done. There just needs to be more [time] next time around.”