TOPIC DISCUSSION PAPER: GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE
ISSUE STATEMENT: Should the structure of the city government remain as defined in the present city charter, or be changed?
EXISTING CHARTER LANGUAGE AND CODES:
Mayor: ARTICLE IV
Council: ARTICLE VIII
City Administrator: ARTICLE XIII
Mayor and Council: AMC 2.04
City Administrator: AMC 2.28
Attachment III (shows a comparison of the three alternatives listed below)
1. Retain the government structure as defined in the present city charter (Status Quo).
The Mayor and Council are accountable to the public as they are elected by a vote of the people. Critics would argue that the dual reporting possibilities Mayor, Administrator) for city employees can create a confusing environment in terms of priorities and direction. Proponents of this provision argue that it provides the Mayor with additional administrative influence in support of his/her agenda.
Critics of the dual reporting provision argue that it creates a less efficient function of city operations. Critics would also argue that not providing the City Administrator with the authority to hire and dismiss department heads and other officers establishes a condition of responsibility without commensurate authority, confusing the lines of authority and diminishing the leadership possibilities for the City Administrator.
2. Provide a government structure consistent with the Model Charter for Oregon Cities (Model).
Little or no change with this alternative.
As in alternative #1, the Mayor and Council are accountable to the public as they are elected by the vote of the people. This alternative provides for a City Manager as administrative head of he city, reporting directly to the Council, with full responsibility for the administrative functions and with broad hire and dismiss authority on all city employees, thus establishing a condition of authority commensurate with the responsibility. This eliminates any confusion of city employees relative to priorities and direction.
This alternative reduces the power of the Mayor relative to alternative #1, but establishes the Mayor as the political head of the city government while placing additional responsibility with the Council, thus allowing it additional influence in terms of policy and goals. Critics of this provision argue that citizen influence through the Mayor is diminished. Proponents would argue that the elimination of the dual reporting provision found in alternative #1 provides for a more effective and efficient functioning of the city administrative organization.
- Provide a government structure with the framework of the Model Charter for Oregon Cities with provisions for a Mayor/Manager partnership (Hybrid).
Little or no change in this alternative.
Would be the same as in alternative #2.
This alternative establishes the Mayor as the political head of the city government and a Mayor-Manager team arrangement which, while not providing the Mayor direct administrative power, but a formal link to the Manager and the city administration. Moreover, this alternative provides a somewhat balanced arrangement of responsibilities and influence for the Mayor and Council. However, additional influence is granted the Mayor by establishing a veto authority and requiring that a Council override be by a supermajority.