Today, Reconstructing Dayton, a 501(c)(4) non-profit has published a plan for review that will change the way the Dayton City Commission is elected. The current system generally creates commissioner for life jobs for those who manage to get elected. To do that, you either have to have the backing of the Dem party, or, run in a special election where there is no incumbent. The proposed charter changes make it easier to run, and provide a way that minority voices can gain access to the commission. It also cuts the costs of an entire primary and shortens the election cycle to one where money isn’t the dictating factor. We’re asking for citizens to review the proposal- which includes ranked choice voting, and provide comments and suggestions before we start it through the gauntlet. The new system would:
- Eliminate primary elections for City of Dayton Commissioners
- Fill vacancies with prior candidates who finished 3rd or 4th in the most recent election, eliminating the need for special elections unless no prior candidates exist
- Assign the Commissioner receiving the greatest number of votes the title of “Mayor.” If they don’t accept, it rolls down to the candidate with the next most votes
- Reduce the required number of signatures for a candidate to appear on the ballot to 50
- Remove the necessity of a nominating committee for candidates seeking election
- Remove the necessity of notarizing a nominating petition
- Establish an instant-runoff general election that will select two or three city Commissioners every odd-numbered year
See the above link for all the details.
Reconstructing Dayton is partially supported by the Modern Policy Institute,  a 501(c)(3) that is dedicated to making voters better informed, advance smart policy and help modernize public access and transparency for local government nationwide. More information about the Modern Policy Institute will be available soon when they launch their website.