ESSAY ON POLITICAL OFFICE IN MINNEAPOLIS

St. Anthony

The general city election in St. Anthony was held on the 1st Tuesday of April each year. No primary election was held. The victors took office the next day. The Mayor held office for 1 year. Two Aldermen were elected from each of the city's 4 wards, one each year.

Also elected each year were the city Treasurer and the city Assessor, one of the two Justices of the Peace and one of the two Constables.

Elections for the Board of Education began in 1860; the usual term for School Director was three years. St. Anthony continued to elect its own School Directors from 1872, when the city united with Minneapolis, until 1878, when the Consolidated School Board took over from the two distinct boards.

Minneapolis

General city elections took place on the 1st Tuesday in April each year from 1867 to 1887. After 1887 the next general city election was held on the 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday in November in 1888, and every 2 years thereafter. The winners took office on the 1st Monday in January following the election.

After 1918, the general election was changed to the 2nd Monday in June starting in 1921. Also, for the first time, a primary was added, on the 2nd Monday in May. From 1955, both elections took place on the 2nd Tuesday. Terms of office began on the 1st Monday in July. Starting in 1973, the general election was moved back to the old November date, but still in odd-numbered years. The primary has been held in September since then. Also, winners take their seats in the 1st week of January following the election.

Elections were "non-partisan" from 1912 to 1971, which means that party affiliation was not listed on the ballot.

From 1867 to the late 1870s, the Mayors served 1-year terms. The Aldermen served for 3 or, for a few years, 2 years between elections. Each ward had 2, then 3 aldermen. Starting in 1878 the Mayors enjoyed a 2-year term for nearly a century. Also, the city's 13 wards were each given 2 Aldermen, who served staggered, 4-year terms until their number was cut in half in 1953. From that year until 4-year terms returned in 1985, the city's Aldermen ("Council Members" since Nov. 8, 1983) were elected for 2 years. The Mayor has enjoyed a 4-year term since 1981.

Elections for School Director took place on the 1st Tuesday in July through 1877. From 1878 the school board election was held on the same day as elections for the other offices. The term of office varied a great deal into the 1880's. After 1888, School Directors, Park Board Commissioners and Library Board Trustees were all elected for 6-year terms, until the late 1970s. Staggered terms of 2, 3 or 4 members each were the rule. About one-third of the seats on each Board were chosen by the voters at each general election. The Park Board first switched to 4-year terms in 1975, followed by the School Board in 1983 and the Library Board in 1989. Elected members of the Board of Estimate, created in 1919, have always served 4-year terms. Since 1916, Park Board Commissioners have represented Park districts and the city as a whole.

Until 1874 the Comptroller and Treasurer had 1-year terms. From 1876 both were elected for 2-year terms. The offices were combined in 1976, and abolished in 1983.

City Judges served 6-year terms from 1895 to 1964. In 1965 they became County Judges. All 3 Justices of the Peace were elected for a 2-year term, from 1890 to 1901.