Every alderman - regardless of voting method or ward - is always beholden to every resident of the city, but no single alderman can fully know and balance every need in the city. Wards are not interchangeable. The ward with the most residential neighborhoods has different needs and requests than the ward which contains the largest industrial park, and so on.

The council body consists of two duly elected residents from each ward to do the work of understanding their own piece of the city, working with each other to balance the overall growth.

The proposed ordinance of a hybrid ward election brings this philosophy front and center, by ensuring residents can be certain they and only they got a say in one of their ward's representatives on the city council.

It doesn't get all of the money out of politics, but it gets some. It doesn't transform the city council into a statistical representation of all possible demographics, but it helps to level the playing ground for all campaigns. It's not a flying leap, it's the logical step forward.

Early voting is underway and runs through May 23 with Election Day, May 24. Consider voting for this proposal.

Zachariah Carlson

Jonesboro