City Council Debate on Style of Government Moves into Next it??? ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Friday, September 12, 2008

City Council Debate on Style of Government Moves into Next it???

Two different bills are currently pending concerning altering our style of government. According to The Baltimore Sun, one council member wants to study the issue.

"City council member Sheila Finlayson wants to create a commission to study alternative forms of government for the city, including strong and weak mayoral systems and a city manager-style of government. Over the years, Finlayson said, three or four city-appointed groups have studied management options without reaching a conclusion."

Is that the definition of insanity--or what? Seems to me that the Alderwoman, who may be running for mayor (she won't say and no matter how much homework CP does, he can't find out...) wants to put this thing off for as long as possible....or maybe she just wants to avoid a solution for a fourth time...or is it a fifth so she be a more powerful mayor...if she runs?

Every form and style of government has some kind of flaw--it's a human institution and we're imperfect. But it is fundamentally wrong to expect anybody who decides to run for and then get elected to office in our small town to have the professional expertise and skill to manage an $80 million budget and hundreds of employees. That's why many cities have city managers--who are trained and certified and sworn to ethical and nonpolitical standards. It is fundamentally wrong to have a mayor who serves as CEO and Board Chairperson--as head of the executive and legislative branch. The city administrators we have had have never impressed CP and have had their hands tied in so many ways--after all, the mayor appoints that person!

To Alderwoman Finlayson and anyone else who wants to study this--please, I urge you set up the study team quickly and to give it a short timeframe. Don't dawdle and delay. And finally--don't ask a question if you already know the answer you want or if you will be afraid to act based on the answer you get. I testified as such on this many months ago before city council..and it is now many months later and she wants to study it to death---again

I believe WE NEED A CITY MANAGER FORM OF GOVERNMENT NOW--and we must empower the city council to negotiate a contract with such a person and to hire and fire him or her with a super-majority vote.

It sure is nice to know that an issue CP has been talking up and supporting so clearly and for so long has finally bubbled up to the surface. Ooh, let's hope this does not get nasty for I fear a real knock down and dirty fight about this.

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