Hillview elections may go non-partisan

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By Thomas Barr

 HILLVIEW - When voters go to the polls in two years to select their leaders for the city of Hillview, there may not be an option to vote a straight ticket.

Hillview City Council members listened to the first reading of an ordinance which would make races for town board and mayor non-partisan in the future.

Currently, residents have candidates grouped into party affiliation.

Mayor Jim Eadens said it really wasn’t about party politics, as five of the six candidates selected in November were Democrats.

“Where did this come from?” inquired councilmember Karen Johnson, a Republican who was the leading votegetter. “Why do it?”

The mayor said that of 413 similar cities in Kentucky, only 14 still have partisan elections.

In the current setup, candidates must register in January for the May primary. If there are more than six candidates in any particular party, a primary would be contested to determine the top six candidates.

If approved at the Dec. 17 meeting, the filing deadline would be in August of each election year.

Eadens said there is a cost associated with running a primary and a general election campaign.

The topic has been discussed in the past but nothing has been done, said Eadens.

At the local level, Eadens said he believes voters make their selections on the person and not the party. However, he said there are situations where they might not always occur.

Currently, the cities of Mount Washington, Lebanon Junction, Hebron Estates, Hunters Hollow, Pioneer Village and Fox Chase run non-partisan elections.

The city of Shepherdsville was the first fourth-class municipality to talk about non-partisan elections in the late 1990s. However, after the issue was mentioned at a city council meeting, it was never discussed again.

The next regular meeting of the Hillview City Council will be on Monday, Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at the government center on Crestwood Lane. The public is invited to attend.