Fayetteville City Council could change after judge's decision; city leaders to appeal

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Saturday, September 3, 2022
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The proposed referendum would allow voters to choose if they want to restructure the council from nine district seats to five and have four at-large seats.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Fayetteville city leaders are pushing back against a judge's decision that could completely restructure its city council.

In an emergency meeting Friday morning, council members decided to appeal a Cumberland County judge's decision to put a referendum on the November ballot.

The referendum would allow voters to choose if they want to restructure the council from nine district seats to five and four at-large, citywide seats.

The call for restructuring the city council has been pushed by the Vote Yes Committee. The group argues that restructuring city council would give voters more comprehensive representation.

However, opponents argue that restructuring would disenfranchise Fayetteville's racial minorities and low-income voters.

According to the Fayetteville Observer, Judge Jim Ammons ordered the Vote Yes Committee referendum to be put on the November ballots in Fayetteville. He said the Vote Yes Committee had provided the 5,000 signatures needed to have the referendum added to the ballot in time for the November election.

The current city council was sworn-in last month.