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Sanduskians for Mayor/Ward


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Note - you will find the most web-sites on this issue if you search on "strong mayor." 

Highlights and boldface added by BFG.


Austin, Texas, and Phoenix judged best-run cities -Naples, Florida News -  Monday, January 31, 2000 - By PAUL SHEPARD, Associated Press - [excerpts]

            WASHINGTON - With robust finances and well-trained public work forces, Austin, Texas, and Phoenix are the best-managed major American cities, according to an analysis by Syracuse University.

            The study rated the municipal governments of the nation's 35 largest cities in terms of revenues, assigning grades from A to F on five management criteria: finances, human resources, capital, information technology and results.

            A common factor in cities that scored well was strong leadership, said Patricia W. Ingraham, director of the Government Performance Project at Syracuse's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The project was financed by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

            "Where there is a strong mayor, there is a well-run city, which attracts residents and visitors," Ingraham said. "Contrary to what many of us think, the days of mediocre city management are coming to an end."


Stronger-mayor' here could set standard -04-04-99 - BY ANNE MICHAUD -  The Cincinnati Enquirer - [ excerpts] - Council-manager government is becoming more popular, but even so, accompanying frustrations are growing.

         “Councils are more fragmented. They have difficulty coming to agreement and developing long-term strategies for the city,” said James Svara, head of the political science department at North Carolina State University. He recently published a survey of the largest 31 council-manager governments.

        Business people typically respond to stronger mayors because the executive powers have their parallel in corporate offices.

        Charlotte has found that to be true, said former mayor Richard Vinroot. A so-called “gazelle” city that has leaped ahead in prosperity, Charlotte reformed the mayor's office in 1981. 

Strong-mayor Leadership In Spokane: Its Impact On Business & Commerce - [very good site on this issue - tried to be unbiased] - “[People] recognize the need for strong elected leadership. You can't run a city by committee,” (Johnson) and with those words political activist Steven K. Eugster echoed his reasons for support of a strong-mayor form of government in Spokane, Washington. On November 2, 1999 the voters of Spokane approved an initiative (drafted by Eugster) to change their city government from a city manager form of executive control (council-manager), to a strong-mayor form. What exactly does the strong-mayor form of government mean to business and what is its impact?

Stafford operates under a Mayor-Alderman form of Government.  It is a strong Mayor system with no City Manager.  Department Directors report directly to the Mayor and Council.  The City is run prudently and has an A bond ratings. The City prides itself on its outstanding record of fiscal responsibility over the past quarter century, which is one of the main reasons the City eliminated the property tax in 1995.   There is a full time police department and a compensated fire department.

Charterites back 'strong-mayor' reform BY HOWARD WILKINSON - The Cincinnati Enquirer 2-24-99 Cincinnati's Charter Committee, after more than 70 years of defending the council-manager form of government it helped to create, has signed on to a reform plan that would radically change the way Cincinnati is governed.

Schenectady has had a Mayor since it was chartered in 1798. The legislative body was known as the Board of Aldermen, with each member representing a city ward, until 1935 when a Plan C or Charter form of government was adopted. Under this plan, the Council was composed of a Mayor and six Council members, all elected at large. The administrative head of the city was the City Manager, appointed by City Council. Ten City Managers served the city between 1935 and 1980 when, as result of a referendum, the form of government changed to City Council/strong Mayor. The administrative head of the city is now the elected Mayor. The City Council is composed of seven members who are elected at large with staggered terms.

"Strong" Mayor?  13 Oct 1998 - Oakland, CA is about to change from a council-manager form of government to a system where the mayor is the chief executive, with the city manager reporting to him. The mayor wouldn't be able to hire and fire the library director, that would stay with the city manager, but the goal is to make the mayor more accountable for delivery of services, so we can expect more mayoral involvement in library affairs.

 Miami voters OK strong-mayor proposal 11/02/99- MIAMI (AP) - Voters on Tuesday approved a controversial strong-mayor referendum that will eliminate the city manager's job and calls for a special election in March.

Has The Time Come For Sacramento To Empower Its Next Mayor? By Jock O'Connell -This is the text of an article that was published in the January 2000 edition of Comstock's Business magazine. - The City Manager is appointed by the Mayor and City Council and manages the daily activities of the City of San Diego and carries out the policy direction of the Mayor and Council.

The City of Lima is a charter municipality (1932) with a strong mayor form of government.

Measure X Victory for Jerry Brown - Strong-mayor initiative OKd by Oakland voters 11-04-98

The City of Topeka has operated under the Strong Mayor-City Council-Chief

Strong mayor a race for quality -  May 7, 1999 -Cincinnatians voted, 53 percent to 47 percent, to elect their mayor directly for the first time in more than 70 years.

Strong mayor goal for 1999 - January 1, 1999 - As we enter the new year and edge closer to the next millennium, it's time for Cincinnati to take steps to ensure that it doesn't fall behind the curve.

The City Manager Experience in the U.S.: Perspectives on Improving Local Government in LAC. - by Tim Campbell and Travis Katz - 1995 - [excerpts] The purpose of this note is not to compare the patterns of growth nor management solutions in the U.S. and LAC. Rather, the goal is to present comparable experiences as a vehicle to discuss issues and tradeoffs of different forms of municipal management. 

             Council-Manager form (1911)... separates political and administrative functions through the employment of a professional city manager, hired by and accountable to the city council. Proponents trumpet efficiency, critics want more participation. Little concrete data is available to evaluate rigorously the Council-Manager experience, even though it is widely used in the U.S. 


COUNCILOR WOULD REPLACE MANAGER THE SOUTH PORTLAND CITY COUNCIL WILL STUDY A PROPOSAL TO REPLACE THE CITY MANAGER WITH AN ELECTED MAYOR. - Portland Press Herald - 01/16/1996 - The proposal to establish an elected-mayor form of government was made Monday night by Councilor Kevin Glynn, who surprised fellow councilors with the idea. ... What a grand idea!" An elected mayor, Glynn said, would be more sensitive to the will of the city's residents than an appointed city manager. The city could spend the next year studying how much power a mayor should have and whether South Portland should continue to have a manager along with a mayor, Glynn said.

Atherton's embattled city manager resigns in a negotiated settlement -  September 15, 1999 - By ANNE H. KIM - In a special marathon session held last Saturday, September 11, the Atherton City Council approved the negotiated resignation of embattled City Manager Don Guluzzy, whose management of the town in recent times has led to increasing criticism by town residents. [Mayors get voted out without being paid to leave as city managers do...]

Former city manager sues Brewer Parks claims wrongful termination in federal suit - Bangor Daily News Bangor, ME - 10/14/1998 - BREWER -- Former Brewer City Manager Harold Parks, fired two years ago this month, has filed a suit in federal court against the city of Brewer and several of the its elected officials claiming he was wrongfully terminated. [Mayors can't sue for "wrongful termination."]


Changes in City Manager Selection Process Sought - Albuquerque Journal - 02/14/2001  The Santa Fe County Chamber of Commerce, citing a "perilous financial condition" in city government, is calling for changes in how Santa Fe chooses its city manager.


Ex-city manager backs vote on strong mayor - By KAREN BRANCH Herald Staff Writer - September 22, 1999, in the Miami Herald - ``If someone likes or doesn't like a candidate, that's democracy, Garcia-Pedrosa told drive-time listeners of WWFE-La Poderosa's Cross-fire show.


Has The Time Come For Sacramento To Empower Its Next Mayor? By Jock O'Connell


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"Where there is a strong mayor, there is a well-run city, which attracts residents and visitors," Ingraham said.

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