WHITING | In the next municipal election, Whiting voters will elect a reduced membership to the City Council.
Council members recently voted to decrease the number of City Council members from seven to five, a change that will go into effect in the 2015 election.
State law allows municipalities with a population of less than 10,000 to downsize city council seats. Whiting expects to save more than $30,000 a year by eliminating the two seats.
The new make-up of the council will reduce the number of districts from five to three while keeping the two at-large seats.
Mayor Joe Stahura said the decision will allow the city to run more efficiently.
Whiting had had seven council members since it was incorporated and population has fluctuated during that time.
“This probably helps eliminate some confusion in the city,” Stahura said. “Less people to talk to and less people to contact, and I just think that's an overall good thing.”
Whiting City Councilman Chris Sarvanidis led the efforts to downsize the council's membership, according to a statement on the membership reduction.
According to Sarvanidis' research, more than 90 percent of cities with a population of less than 10,000 have five council members.
“Under the old scenario, each citizen had three different council members representing them,” Sarvanidis said in a statement. “Under the new scenario, that number remains the same.”