Brian Sullivan

At the last Hearing FACT recommended a City Manager approach instead of a Strong Mayor.

FACT continues to reiterate its deliberations on the subject (we have probably deliberated this issue for longer than the Charter Commission even has!) and at this point we still strongly believe that a qualified City Manager is the correct management approach.

Why a mayor isn’t an advantage

  1. We risk getting someone who is popular but unqualified.  We are risking our 300-million-dollar corporation potentially on someone whom we could be paying a sizable salary to and whose only qualification is that they are 18+ years old.
  1. While the voters do have the option of not reelecting a bad mayor they could possibly have to wait up to 4 years before doing that.
  1. Voters might not even have a good choice to pick from the get go. Plus, we might have a really qualified individual that doesn’t have the money or the political connections to run an effective town-wide campaign.
  1. Since the Mayor is an elected position, we would expect some amount of their time is taken away from administrating and geared towards campaigning and fundraising for reelection. Thus their focus is not always on managing.

Why a City Manager is better

  1. A qualification requirement can be put on a City Manager – better to have our 300-million-dollar corporation managed by someone guaranteed to have municipal experience, budgetary experience,  as well general management experience over hundreds if not thousands of employees.
  1. Ability to remove them if they prove unfit for the job.
  1. Doesn’t have to campaign for an election – so we’re paying for them to manage and not paying them to campaign and fundraise.

We believe an important point that the Collins Center (our paid for experts) brought before the Commission, is that the Mayor model is becoming less popular around the country while the City Manager is becoming more popular, so we are concerned about bucking that trend if that is essentially how other communities are looking at the future.

 

Watch Brian’s presentation to the Charter Commission at its Public Hearing on September 22, 2016.

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