On election day vote only for those candidates you want on council.
The best way to make your vote count is to not fill up your ballot
On your ballot, you can vote for up to eight councilors but you don’t have to fill your ballot. Many voters know a few new candidates they would like to see on council and vote for them but they also fill their ballots with other candidates – usually with those already on council.
This would be fine if all the voters knew the same few new candidates but they don’t. On election day, the new candidates get votes from some voters but the incumbents generally get all the fill-in votes. One voter may vote for new candidate “Joe” and fill up the ballot with incumbents and the next voter may vote for “Jill” and fill up the ballot with incumbents. When counted, “Joe” gets one vote, “Jill” gets one vote and the incumbents get two. As a result few new candidates get elected and we end up with a council comprised of incumbents.
Some voters may fill the ballots with anyone but the candidate they don’t want on council. However, this is not as effective as not filling your ballot. If the undesirable candidate is well known, he/she will get fill-in votes from others and win a seat by default. If the candidate is new chances are that if you don’t want the candidate, others won’t either.
Of course, if you think one or more incumbents have done a great job and you support their re-election then you should definitely vote for them.