Monday, November 6, 2017

A Predicament Needing a Solution

A week or so ago, Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) resigned his position on the Common Council. The reason for the resignation is that Friedman, who is an attorney, is representing a client who has brought a lawsuit against the City of Hudson. 

Typically, when an alderman resigns, for whatever reason, the Common Council elects someone to take that person's place and serve out the term. This has happened several times in living memory--most recently in 2015, when Rick Rector was elected to replace David Marston, who left Hudson to take a job in Minnesota. But with two months left in his term, it is unclear who will be elected to replace Friedman. The reason seems to be redistricting.

There are two people--Shershah Mizan and Calvin Lewis--running unopposed to become Third Ward aldermen beginning in January 2018. A seemingly logical solution would be for the Common Council to elect one of them to replace Friedman and let him start the job early. The problem is neither one of them lives in the Third Ward that elected Friedman. The lion's share of the Third Ward that elected Friedman and that he represented has now been absorbed into the First Ward.

So the question, which apparently hasn't been answered yet, is does the Common Council elect Mizan or Lewis to represent for two months people they won't be representing come January 2018, or does the Common Council elect someone who actually lives in the pre-redistricted Third Ward to represent, for two months, the people who elected Friedman?

Whatever is decided, and whoever is responsible to make that decision, it would be nice if they moved ahead. There is still some business to be done by the Council in 2017, not the least of which is approving the 2018 budget. There's a special meeting of the Council this Thursday, to receive and consider the 2018 budget. A full complement of aldermen should be in place for that task.

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