MILTON — The city staff will not move forward with studying a reduction of seats in the City Council.

At the July 11 council meeting, city leaders reviewed the council composition and decided whether the city staff should study reducing the number of council seats from two members per ward to one per ward. If the item passed, the information gathered by the city staff would then be brought before the council, who would vote on whether to add it to the ballot in the form of a referendum.

Councilman Alan Lowery made a motion to allow the city staff to explore options for reducing the number of council seats; Councilwoman Sharon Holley seconded the motion, but the motion failed with Alan Lowery, Sharon Holley and Casey Powell in favor and Ashley Lay, Jeff Snow, Pat Lunsford, Mary Ellen Johnson and Peggi Smith opposed.

Powell said that he doesn't see a problem with the number of seats currently on the council, but he would love to see what the city staff comes up with and make an informed decision.

"We should at least look at the information that is provided to us; of course, any information that would be provided about that would still have to come through the council and be approved before it would be added to a referendum vote," Powell said. "Unfortunately, without voting through to let the staff look at it, we really don't have any hard data to look at. That was the reason I voted for it, so we could at least see that information and make an informed decision."

As for Smith, she said she voted against the motion because reducing the number of council seats would not benefit the citizens.