No Mayor/Better Council Plan

We do not need and should not have any mayor of Minneapolis. Choose city leaders who will seek to make our local government work for the citizens of Minneapolis and not make pawns of them in a pointless regional game of gotcha, disadvantaging us and local business for the dubious benefits of subsidizing those who would take everything not nailed down.

This is our good home and we must keep it that way, not raise our local sales taxes to finance the temporary abodes of those businesses who would leave us on a whim, especially when those who would do business in the region avoid these taxes readily, leaving us to pay them and our businesses to fail or move because of them.

A charter amendment is needed to abolish the office of mayor and reduce the number of wards to five, roughly equivalent to the five traditional sectors of the city: North, Northeast, Southeast, South, and Southwest (that’s clockwise from North).

Each of these five sectors (we would have to establish district boundaries as usual every ten years) would have one council seat and the balance of the council would be made up of eight at large seats for the same total number of 13 Minneapolis City Council members.

This would make government less provincial and more issue driven almost automatically rather than depend on extraordinary people for the same end, something that happens rarely in our history.

In effect, you would do away with a position that is really all about vanity and the bully pulpit, neither of which we need all that much, and when we do, union scale for actors is a whole lot better than electing one, paying her a six figure annual salary, and paying his staff many times more. We could also get our money’s worth from each council member by designating one of them as an acting mayor for each trade mission or public appearances deemed necessary by the Council as a whole on advice from staff (convince 7 or more folks it is not a junket, and you’re there with a ‘mayor’ banging a Minneapolis drum or giving the City Spiel).

Look at the table linked below and use it to get some idea about how the city functions now. Everybody within and below the box with the bold dot outline routinely does what it takes to run this city with very little direction from the mayor or council.

Whatever happens above the box with the bold dot outline in the table, i.e., in the Council and Mayor sections with associated administrative and advisory support including audit functions, are just city functions the Council and Mayor do under statutory requirements for funding.

Everything aside from signing off here and there and blowing hot air on behalf of the city that those holding the office of mayor with its six figure salary does, is largely unnecessary. We can get by with a city manager and no mayor.

Organizational Chart

Here is a Wikipedia page on Council-manager cities:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council–manager_government

Also check this youtube.com video on the Council-manager system of city government:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbZlrXW2BJg

 Here is a good resource, the National League of Cities, to learn about municipal governance:

http://www.nlc.org

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