COTW forwards on budget to council

The Hopkinsville City Council Committee of the Whole forwarded on to council last night a $43 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year that includes 5 percent cost of living raises for all city employees.

Mayor Wendell Lynch included the pay raises in his budget proposal that also includes no cuts to city departments or agencies.

Hopkinsville City Council will vote on the spending plan at its meetings in June.

Meanwhile, the committee also heard the final report from the Non-Partisan Elections Citizens Committee Meeting that was commissioned by the mayor to look at the advantages and disadvantages of transitioning Hopkinsville from partisan to non-partisan voting for city officers.

Rich Maddux chaired that committee and notes some studies show non-partisan elections tend to favor upper socio-economic candidates, but they also increase voter participation because anyone can vote in primaries.

He says the proposed ordinance Hopkinsville City Council could consider would maintain ward-exclusive primaries for council races—something very unique in Kentucky.

Hopkinsville is one of 6 out of 116 cities that maintain partisan elections for city officers.

The committee did not issue any formal recommendation on what council should do.