Evans' proposal is the first to combine a reduction in council members with an increase in the years they can serve, and she's betting that will make the difference with voters, if not the council. The amendment went down in flames Tuesday night, as Evans expected it would, with just 10 votes in its favor. More council members supported a change in term limits — although a proposal to do that alone also failed — but several spoke strongly against the idea of shrinking the council. They cited the risk of diminished representation and responsiveness, as well as the potential that shrinking the council would increase the influence of special interests and strengthen the mayor. But Evans had already decided to attempt a petition drive in order to get the idea on the November ballot. So she's booking up her weeks, toting a presentation on the idea to neighborhood groups, political party chapters, and your book club if you'll have her.