Structure of Government Alternatives

STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT
 
ALTERNATIVES IN SUMMARY
(April 14, 2005)
  • THE STATUS QUO
The present Ashland City charter provides for a voter-elected Mayor who serves as the executive officer of the City. In this structure, considerable power is vested in the Mayor, who has oversight and authority over much of the administrative functions of the City. This includes, in consultation with the Council, the hiring and dismissal authority over the City Administrator, department heads and subordinate employees. The Mayor presides over Council meetings, votes only in case of a tie vote, and has veto authority. The Mayor appoints members to committees and commissions.
Ashland has a City Administrator who is responsible to the Mayor and Council to manage the administrative functions of the City to effectively deliver services to the citizens. The City Administrator has authority to hire and dismiss subordinate employees, but not department heads.
The City Council is composed of six (6) Councilors, each elected by the citizens, to establish City policies, adopt ordinances and to guide, in concert with the Mayor, the City Administrator in implementing such policies and ordinances. The Council approves the City budget, and with a two-thirds vote, may override a mayoral veto.


  • THE MODEL
This alternative is based entirely on the Model Charter for Oregon Cities, created by the League of Oregon Cities in 2002, and which gives considerable power to the Council. In this alternative, the Mayor is elected by the citizens and serves as the political head of the City government. The Mayor appoints, with consent of the Council, members to committees and commissions, presides over Council meetings, votes with the Council and has no veto authority.
This form of government provides for a City Manager who is hired (and dismissed) by the Council and who is the administrative head of he government. The Manager is responsible for all administrative functions of the City with authority to hire and dismiss all employees. Importantly, the Manager is responsible to the Council for the effective implementation of policies and ordinances established by the Council.
The Council is the legislative head of the government and much of the power in this structure is vested in the Council. The Council is composed of six (6) elected councilors and the Mayor, who is a voting member of the Council. The Council establishes policy and adopts ordinances and is responsible for the hiring, performance and, if necessary, dismissal of the City Manager, the City Attorney and Municipal Judge. The Council approves the City budget and approves the appointment of members to committees and commissions.


  • THE HYBRID
The hybrid structure establishes a Mayor-Council partnership, with a sharing of power and influence in establishing policy. A team arrangement consisting of the Mayor, Council and City Manager attempts to achieve a balance of responsibilities and authorities.
The Mayor is an elected official and serves as the political head of the City government. In concert with the Council, and with citizen input, he/she develops a vision for the City. The Mayor presides over Council meetings, votes in the event of a tie and has veto authority, and with Council consent, appoints members of committees and commissions.
This structure provides for a City Manager who serves as the administrative head of the City government and is responsible to the Mayor and Council for proper administration of all City business, including City utilities and property. The City Manager carries out the policies and ordinances established by the Council, and prepares and administers the City budget.
In this structure the Council, consisting of six (6) Councilors, is the legislative head of the City government. The Council appoints (and dismisses) the City Manager and City Attorney, approves the City Budget, maintains oversight of City operations and approves Mayor-appointments to committees and commissions.

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