Mayor Marion Barry yesterday proposed delaying most of this year's District elections as part of a plan to end all odd-year elections after 1985.
Under the plan, the city would go ahead with the scheduled elections of four school board members in November, but it would postpone voting on two other school board seats, on advisory neighborhood commission (ANC) members and on three representatives to lobby Congress on statehood.
The plan was released by the city yesterday in the form of a letter from Barry to council member William R. Spaulding (D-Ward 5), chairman of the government operations committee.
"It is my belief that the District of Columbia holds too many elections and that greater efficiency and economy could be achieved if the elections were held only in even years," Barry said in the letter.
School board and ANC elections are now held in odd-numbered years.
City Council Chairman David A. Clarke said yesterday he generally supports the proposal, saying it largely corresponds with a consolidation plan of his own, but criticized the mayor for getting it to the city council so late.
"If the mayor had put some weight behind it, we might have gotten it through," Clarke said. It will be more difficult now, particularly since Spaulding already has put himself on record against postponing any of the school board elections this year, Clarke said.
Spaulding's committee yesterday approved a bill to postpone this year's ANC elections until 1984 and to clean up voter-registration lists.
The ANC elections must be put off this year because new ANC district boundaries based on the 1980 census have not been approved yet, according to a consensus of city officials.
The council meets in committee today to consider legislation establishing the new boundaries, but it still would be too late to prepare for those elections this year, according to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.
"There is no reason to delay the school board elections" or those of congressional lobbyists, Spaulding said after yesterday's committee meeting. He said the elections board has the records necessary to conduct both contests.
* Holding elections this year only for the school board seats in Wards 1,5 and 6 and an at-large seat, as part of a plan for phasing in over the next five years a system of electing school board and council members from the same wards in the same years. He called for extending until 1984 the terms of school board members from Wards 4 and 7, who are also scheduled for election this year.
* Delaying this year's ANC elections to 1984.
* Postponing election of congressional lobbyists until 1986, so that the District's controversial statehood constitution could be amended first. Barry said it would cost the city $2.3 million in fiscal 1984 for salaries and office costs of these officials, and that no money has been budgeted for this.
* Electing political party officers and delegates in caucuses rather than in city-run primaries. Clarke opposed this proposal, calling the primaries "an important party vehicle."
Under the voter reregistration plan approved in committee yesterday, persons who voted in 1982 would be automatically reregistered. Others on the old list would be sent letters asking them to reregister by mail.
Anyone on the old list would be allowed to vote anyway through 1986 and by doing so would become registered.