Monday, August 27, 2007

Questions that Need Answers, Part V

I am extremely skeptical that changing the municipal government to an elected mayor format will do much good. I'm willing to listen to some arguments, and in the last week or so I've convinced myself of some of the merits of a mayoral system, but there are still a lot of questions that I will need concrete answers to before I acquiesce to the concept. So here are some of my questions, in no particular order.

1.) Pay

2.) Expectations

3.) Hiring & Spending Power

4.) Campaigns

5.) Staff & Bureaucracy

This could have gone under #3, but what are you going to do?

Obviously, one person can not be expected to run a whole city by him or her self, so what kind of support staff will the mayor be allowed to assemble around him? Are we just going to give him or her a secretary or will the mayor be allowed to hire the number of people he or she believes is necessary to assist him? Will these people need to be approved of by the council or can their appearance on the payrolls be at the discretion of the mayor?

Will candidates be required to anticipate how many people they pay to hire as support staff while running for office?

Will the mayors be responsible for creating a budget for their office or will the council do that?

What will be the relationship between the mayor and the department heads? Will the dept. heads have more autonomy (and therefore more responsibility?), or will the mayor have to micromanage everything they do?

Will the mayor get updates from the dept. heads via meetings or will he or she be expected to actually get their hands dirty and go out into the field to meet some of the other city workers?

Will the mayor be the final arbiter of any grievances filed against the city on behalf of employees?

Will the mayor take the lead on negotiations with the city employees' union?

Will the mayor have the ability to fire any one who works for the city for whatever reason?

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