With nearly one fourth of the precincts reporting in Mandeville, three of the proposed charter amendments have more than 60 percent support, while one dealing with council term limits is behind by a similar margin. A proposed sales tax rededication held a 55-45 lead in early results as well.
The three with support are technical changes that simplify and remove obsolete language from the city’s governing document. One includes a provision that would allow the city’s documents to be published online. Another would shift appointing responsibility from the governor to the mayor in cases where the city council doesn’t appoint a person in a timely manner. The third would shift the city’s human resources director from a half classified position is one that is fully under the city’s civil service system.
The fourth — and only one that has engendered any controversy — would extend term limits of the council members from two to three terms. The amendment would outlaw the practice of musical chairs, where a district council member could serve two terms in a district seat and then move to an at-large seat, and vice versa. The amendment was opposed by Mayor Donald Villere, but was supported by most members of the council.
Also on the ballot is an extension and rededication of a 1-cent sales tax — due to expire in 2019 — to make half of tax revenue available to be used in the city’s general fund, which pays for police, employee salaries. The tax brings is expected to bring about $4.6 per year into the city’s coffers, and is currently dedicated to roads, drainage and sewers.
Voters in two parish road lighting districts — nos. 9 and 10 — were also being asked to approve a $50 service charges for 10 years. None of those results has been reported yet.
Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter @faimon.