Debate Rages Over Cairo Mayoral Elections

The mayor would instead be elected among a five-member city council, in an effort, council members say, to make the process more effective.

Confusion and opposition were among the feelings of Cairo voters Friday morning. Three of five council members want to change the city charter and appoint future mayors amongst themselves, rather than at large.

"This is a free America. We live here we want to vote for who represents us, so it makes sense to me to have free representation by voting," says Allen Jenkins, a registered voter.

Council members say they their goal is to make the government more efficient.

"What is supposed to be an inherent right of people taken away arbitrarily, I'm not for it."

Some voters aren't concerned about rights. They say it's one less responsibility for them, and left in the hands of their appointed city council members,” says Robert Crawl, who is against revisions.

"We put our confidence in these councilmen or women, therefore with our confidence in them we should have confidence enough in them to appoint someone," says Wayne McDonald, who is in favor of charter revisions.

"We don't have too much of a choice, we got to trust that they do the right thing," says Johnnie Mae Ross, a registered voter.

The revisions will be brought to the table in a March 8 meeting. If approved, the changes would be effective after current Mayor Dan Well's term ends in January 2006.

Our calls to Cairo city council members were not returned. The proposed charter revisions would make Cairo's mayoral elections identical to the city of Thomasville.