OAG 93-41

May 6, 1993

Patricia M. Summe

Summe & Summe

The Old Stonehouse

3384 Madison Pike

Fort Wright, Kentucky 41017

Dear Ms. Summe:

You have asked whether a city may continue to conduct staggered elections for city council members in light of the constitutional amendment adopted in 1992.

Before the 1992 regular election, section 167 of the state constitution said that “members of municipal legislative boards [] may be elected either in the even or odd years or part in the even years and part in the odd.” The legislature, in KRS 83A.110, permitted cities to conduct referendums to determine whether city elections should be held every year, with half of the legislative seats (which are two-year terms) up for election each year.

In 1992 the voters approved a change to section 167 so that it now reads:

All officers required to be elected in cities, urban-counties, and towns by this Constitution, or by general laws enacted in conformity to its provisions, shall be elected at the general elections in November in even-numbered years.

The transition schedule incorporated into the constitutional amendment (section 19, paragraph 4) says, “The term of office for local officers who regularly serve a two-year term and who are scheduled to be elected in 1993 shall be for a single term of three years. The regular election for those offices shall then be held in 1986 and every two years thereafter.”

Based on the language of the constitutional amendment, we conclude that cities may no longer conduct staggered elections; that KRS 83A.110, which purports to authorize staggered elections, is now unconstitutional; and that city council members elected in 1993 will be elected for three-year terms, so that all city council seats will be up for election in 1996.


Chris Gorman

Attorney General

Ross T. Carter

Assistant Attorney General