The ongoing push to let Battle Creek City voters elect a mayor separate from the city commission is moving forward.  City commissioners are set to meet in special session tonight night to take up the issue. Again.

Commissioners turned thumbs down on the idea just last month. The vote was 5-4. But at least one commissioner has apparently thought about the issue some more, and may be ready to vote in favor. Commissioners will be asked to approve a ballot proposal for city voters to decide the idea. Battle Creek’s mayor is currently selected by City Commissioners, from among themselves. Battle Creek Mayor Mark Behnke supports the voting change.

Many of those opposed believe direct election of a mayor will negatively impact the representation of the city’s diverse population. A Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee originally made the recommendation to allow for direct election of the mayor, but also proposed increasing the number of wards from five to seven and decreasing the number of at-large positions from four to two. The City Commission went with the direct election idea , but not the proposed changes to the ward system.

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