Residents unhappy with the current five-member City Council have started a petition to add four new members.

One council member would be chosen from each of Washington Terrace's seven voting districts and two would be chosen at-large under the petition started by Paul Biddle and David Christensen.City Administrator Pearce Shelton said Tuesday he had not yet seen the petition, which needs 90 to 100 signatures to be presented to voters, probably in November 1999.

It would cost the city an additional $14,000 per year to pay the additional council members, Shelton said. Council member Robert Tucker said he thinks additional council members would be a mistake, though it's the right of the city's 9,000 residents to change.

"For a city our size to have a nine-member council, I don't think that's the way to go," Tucker said.

In recent months, City Council meetings have been quarrelsome. Most recently, four council members left a meeting during a dispute with the mayor. The meeting had to be adjourned because there was no quorum.