“And while they profess to do a good job — and I think they probably have — they don’t have neighborhood representation, like the east side of Nicholasville,” Barnes said.
Word of the petition seeking the change spread through e-mail, and former Mayor John Martin’s website has served as the group’s official Internet site.
Barnes said there are many residents within the city who are feeling the cold shoulder when it comes to local politics and switching systems would serve as a step in solving the problem.
“The potential is there; some people feel like they aren’t (being represented), but I don’t like to say that they aren’t because I think the commissioners are going a good job, and they feel like they represent the whole city,” Barnes said.
Nicholasville Mayor Russ Meyer said the whole idea of a commission form of government is proper representation.
“The commission form of government is a form of government that entices people to work together for a common cause,” he said. “I don’t think that the council form of government brings that in play as much as the commission form of government.”
Meyer also said each member of the commission represents the entire city, not just a sector.
“We answer to everybody in the community,” he said. “That also promotes working together.”
Meyer added that having a commission form of government allows for checks and balances and no one person on the board has more pull than another when it comes to voting.
If the petition committee is successful in reaching 2,001 signatures by the deadline, Jessamine County Clerk Eva McDaniel said the measure would be on the November ballot, and then it would be up to the voters to decide the city’s form of government.
If the form of government changes, then the number of commissioners could change when the city is divided up into districts. Barnes said there are six voting precincts within the city limits, and he speculated that because of that, there could be six commissioners and one mayor.
The city of Nicholasville was a council form of government until the early 1970s. On Nov. 7, 1972, the move to switch to a commission form of government passed by a 559-557 vote.