By JESSIE HORTON
DUBLIN (October 22, 2015) — Expect big changes for the Dublin City Council in coming months. The council, which has been a ward system for years, is looking to make the change to an at-large system.
This means the eight-member council and a mayor that residents have become used to seeing could no longer be the norm in Dublin. According to information presented to the council in March, most all of councils in the state of Texas that are similar in size to Dublin use an at-large system including Hico, Comanche and DeLeon. This would bring the size of the council down to five members and the mayor.
According to information presented to the current Dublin City Council from City Administrator Nancy Wooldridge, who has worked closely with the city attorney and Dublin City Secretary Rhonda Williams on the matter, the four councilmen who recently won their ward elections – John Johnson, Bobby Mendez, David Zinch and Melvin ‘Mac’ McMullen – would all hold their seats, while those that would be running again next year would have to run against one another for one remaining seat. Dublin Mayor David Leatherwood, who ran unopposed in the last election, would also hold his seat.
While at least one council member has considered stepping down, it remains unsure for the council, who have a few months to consider their options. According to city officials, the voters in Dublin do not get the final say in which system the city uses. That is up to the council members themselves. Wooldridge said the system the council votes in favor of will go into place for the next election, which is in 2016. If the system changes, the council will hold one or two town hall meetings to speak with voters about the changes.