Battle Creek City Commissioners are voting to move forward with a plan to let the city’s voters pick their Mayor, separate from city commission elections. Currently, the commissioners pick the mayor from among themselves.  Commissioners are voting 7-2 in favor of the separate mayoral vote following a 5-4 decision last month in opposition.
Vice Mayor Sherry Sofia and Commissioner Jim Lance voted no on the proposal. Mayor Mark Behnke and Commissioners Susan Baldwin, Kaytee Faris, Kate Flores, Lynn Ward Gray, John Griffin, and Chris Simmons voted yes.

The city clerk will be forwarding the proposed language for a special election to Michigan election administrators for review. Expecting approval,  Battle Creek voters will have the final word on the issue in the March primary next year.  If approved, the separate vote for a city mayor will take effect in time for next November’s general election.

No one will be allowed to simultaneously run for a city commission seat, and the mayor’s job. The change only effects the election of a Mayor in Battle Creek. Selection of a Vice Mayor will continue to be made by the city commissioners from among themselves.