Anoka Union Columnist Chuck Drury wrote on the ward-based-voting-system versus Anoka's current at-large city council representation: ( Permission to post on the Anoka City Forum was not requested nor obtained as info was taken from the public record) - Selected Quotes:
"A good reason for keeping the mayor at two years so that the voters can clean house if necessary." ( A four year mayor's term had also been requested with the ward petition - all instigated and signed by the Paul Pierce/ Bjorn Skogquist / Dori Schumacher alliance.)
Former mayor and councilmember Charlie Sell was referenced: "He knew that the two-year mayor term was a good protection for the citizens of Anoka and should not be changed. Charlie also felt that going to a ward based system would be a mistake. We discussed at length the experience of Shorewood."
"Shorewood had adopted the ward system in 2004. However, it found that it caused a drop in voter turnout and community participation in government. They found that under the at-large system council members were much more responsive to residents."
"Some citizens wanted to again have all council members represent them, rather than only one."
"Therefore, the Shorewood City Council unanimously agreed to respond to their citizens. They voted to return to the at-large system."
"This was done even though some council members would have to give up part of their present terms and stand for re-election."
Anoka City Forum also recommends http://www.startribune.com/templates/Print_This_Story?sid=19747624 and http://www.ci.shorewood.mn.us/pages/election/election.html
Historically, wards were a preferred, effective method for a small group of people to get and maintain political micromanagement of a city and all of its functions. The small group recruits new residents and controls candidates.
Wards make it very easy to get people off and keep them off of city councils, advisory boards and commissions.
Be afraid, Anoka, be very afraid.