The Best Charter Amendment That Didn’t Pass

It was Proposition A:

“Should section 3.1 of the City Charter, relating to creation, composition; powers and duties of Council be amended to allow City Council Representatives to appoint and remove district office staff?”

Right now City Council relies on their staff to brief them on their upcoming decisions. The City Manager directs the staff.

City Council gets whatever information the City Manager wants them to get.

I have to tell you, in recent history (but maybe not now), City Council was not composed of the brightest lights on the Christmas tree.

And those nice, polite, gentle, conflict-averse people who got elected to City Council don’t want to go into work every day facing conflict.

And maybe those staff members who report to the City Manager tell their respective representative “Hey, the City Manager is really getting on my ass about this. Do you think maybe you could just vote for it?”

It’s like the whole City Manager model in miniature. City Representatives are supposed to be directing their staff, but instead they’re being directed by them.

Like City Council is supposed to be directing the City Manager, but instead the City Manager is managing City Council.

Let’s hope our next City Manager isn’t a megalomaniac or narcissist like a couple of our more recent City Managers have been.

One comment

  1. In my mind the hiring of a city manager is akin to the privatising of certain government duties. Instead of having our City run by elected representatives (our fellow citizens, residents, and tax payers), we have hired people who don’t know us to run things! How can that ever end well?

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