Members of the Harrisonburg City School Board are voted in to office based on whether they reside in the east ward or west ward, with the dividing line being the center line of Main Street. There are currently six school board members with four members representing the east school district and two representing the west school district. The reasoning behind this split was based on the population shifts revealed by the 2000 census. The voting wards have separate jurisdictional boundaries than the school districts, which determine the elementary school or middle school that children attend.
In recent weeks, the possibility of changing how school board members are elected, eliminating the wards, and perhaps changing to an odd number of school board members has been discussed.
City council has several options that they could consider:
1. Do nothing and leave the ordinances governing the election of school board members as they currently are.
2. Maintain the existing two school district system, but eliminate the at-large voting for district representation. In other words, amend city ordinances to provide that voters can only vote for candidates to represent their own school district.
3. Move to an at-large election of all school board members.
4. Move to a process by which there are multiple school election districts, represented by one school board member.
5. Move to a combination of at-large and district representation.
6. Change from an even number of school board members to an odd number.
What do you think? What changes, if any, should be made and why?