Nonpartisan elections panel slates 1st meeting

The 12-member committee, appointed by Mayor Wendell Lynch, will meet June 3.

The Nonpartisan Elections Citizens Committee will have its first meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 3, at the Memorial Building, 1202 S. Virginia St.

The agenda lists several organizational topics, including a review and discussion of Mayor Wendell Lynch’s executive order that established the committee. The panel will also establish a regular meeting schedule, according to the agenda. 

Lynch appointed the 12 members on April 20. He chose the members from a list of residents suggested by city council members.

The committee chairman is Rich Maddux, who owns and runs The Rabbit’s Basket, an urban farm, with his wife. He has been active in local and state civic work for several years and previously was an industrial plant executive. 

Lynch has directed the committee to learn about nonpartisan elections and to help educate the public in an “unbiased manner” about partisan versus nonpartisan elections. After that process, the committee is supposed to file a report of its findings. It will not make a recommendation about whether the city council should adopt a nonpartisan elections ordinance.

Hopkinsville City Council voted in favor of a nonpartisan election ordinance last summer. Lynch, who said citizens needed more time to learn how nonpartisan elections would affect the community, vetoed the ordinance on July 10. The council did not have the eight votes needed to override the veto. 

(Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the committee will make a recommendation about whether the city should switch to nonpartisan elections. It will file a report, not a recommendation.)

Nonpartisan elections panel slates 1st meeting

Jennifer P. Brown | Hoptown Chronicle

Jennifer P. Brown is co-founder, publisher and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at editor@hoptownchronicle.org. She spent 30 years as a reporter and editor at the Kentucky New Era. She is a co-chair of the national advisory board to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, governing board president for the Kentucky Historical Society, and co-founder of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition.