REVISE W-S CHARTER/ELECTIONS/REDISTRICTING.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 519 (Local) Filed Thursday, March 28, 2019
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF WINSTON-SALEM TO PROVIDE FOR THE ELECTION OF CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS FROM WARDS AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE CREATION OF THOSE WARDS; MODIFY THE TERMS OF THE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL AND PROVIDE THAT THE MAYOR HAS A RIGHT TO VOTE; AND MODIFY THE PROCESS FOR FILLING VACANCIES ON THE CITY COUNCIL.
Intro. by Lambeth, Conrad.

Status: Ref to the Com on Redistricting, if favorable, Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House (House action) (Apr 1 2019)
H 519

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Mar 28 2019 - More information

    Amends Section 8 of the Charter of Winston-Salem set out in SL 1927-232, as amended. Divides the City of Winston-Salem (City) into five wards, as described, and assigns voting tabulation districts, blocks, tracts, and block groups to the wards as shown on the 2010 Census Redistricting TIGER/Line Shapefiles (previously, the City was divided into eight wards, based on the adoption of a map by the Board of Aldermen of the City). Provides for areas within the City not specifically assigned to a ward, and provides for changes to VTD boundaries.

    Specifies that the act does not prevent the City from annexing property pursuant to Article 4A, GS Chapter 160A, or any local act of the General Assembly. Requires annexed property to be assigned pursuant to Section 8 of the Charter, as amended. Provides for the Legislative Services Officer to certify the true copy of the block assignment file and deliver it to the Secretary of the City.

    Further amends the Charter, amending Section 12A, to reduce the term of office for the Mayor from four to two years. Establishes the right of the Mayor to vote as a city council member on all matters before the council; however, restricts the Mayor from making a tie-breaking vote in a matter in which the Mayor participated.

    Reduces the terms of office for city council members from four to two years. Provides for five members to be elected to represent one of each of the five wards, with the remaining three members elected at-large (previously, eight members representing each of the eight wards). Makes conforming changes.

    Amends Section 12J, making statutory corrections to reflect the recodification of GS Chapter 163. Makes conforming changes to reflect the change in terms of council members and the mayor, as enacted.

    Incorporates by reference Sections 1 through 3 of SL 1971-1248 into new Section 12K of the Charter of the City of Winston-Salem, codified as Section 12K, SL 1927-232, as amended. Organizes the provisions as subsections (a) through (c) of Section 12K, SL 1927-232, as amended. Modifies the provisions as follows.

    Amends Section 1 (now subsection (a) of Section 12K) to replace references to the the Winston-Salem Board of Alderman with the Winston-Salem City Council. Requires the City Council to adopt a resolution calling for a special primary and election when there is a vacancy on the Council when the unexpired vacancy is for twelve months or more.  The election is to be held in the ward represented by the vacating member. Sets out terms for calculating when a vacancy begins if the vacancy is due to resignation. Sets out when the candidate elected is to be installed. Establishes additional requirements for conducting the election and setting the date for the election and candidate filings, and requires the Council to reimburse the Forsyth County Board of Elections for the costs of the primary and election. Makes conforming changes to Sections 2 and 3 (now subsections (b) and (c) of Section 12K). Applies to vacancies existing on or after the date the act becomes law. Makes seats that meet the following subject to a special primary and election to be conducted under new Section 12K: (1) a vacancy for that seat occurs in 2018 or 2019; (2) the vacancy was filled by the City Council using the appointment process in GS 160A-63; (3) the Forsyth County Board of Elections receives a petition calling for a special primary and election signed by at least 1% of the total number of registered voters in the ward which the seat represents, as reflected by the voter registration records as of January 1 of the year in which the petition is received; and (4) the unexpired term of office for the seat is 12 months or more, as of the date the petition is received by the Forsyth County Board of Elections. Requires the City Council to reimburse the Forsyth County Board of Elections for the costs of administering any special primary and election. Applies to any seat that was vacated in 2018 or 2019.


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