EXECUTIVE BRANCH

FACT believes that the draft city charter should be changed so that a professional manager appointed by the Council is responsible for the day-to-day administration of our government. Reasons for this recommendation include:

  • Our 300-million-dollar civic corporation should be managed by a highly-qualified professional with demonstrated experience and skills for doing so. This experience must include:
    • Municipal operations management
    • Budget preparation and oversight
    • Responsibility for large numbers of municipal employees, including recruiting and supervising division heads and other direct reports
  • A city manager who proves ineffective can be replaced at any time, whereas an elected mayor can be replaced only after serving their 4-year term
  • Unlike an elected mayor, a city manager would not need to devote any time to fundraising and campaigning, and would devote full time to city management responsibilities.  With fundraising there’s great concern for the influence of money. Without fundraising the influence of money is not an issue. Unlike a mayor who will rely on campaign contributions to get or hold the job, thus feeling the pressure of influence and implied debts of favors, access, etc., the city manager will never be subject to such influence

The National Civic League recommends this structure in its Model Charter. Also, according to the Collins Center for Public Management, consultants to the Framingham Charter Commission, this structure is “Becoming more popular around the country” while the Mayor structure is “Becoming less popular across the country.” [Collins Center memo to Framingham Charter Commission, July 28, 2016]