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cs
04-21-2005, 06:01 AM
Who do they answer to? I mean if you are getting a raw deal from one, who do you go to?

Chad

John Bell
04-21-2005, 06:47 AM
Who hires the city manager?

cs
04-21-2005, 06:53 AM
I would imagine that the city manager is hired by the city commisioners who would be elected by the people. Good question.

Chad

John Bell
04-21-2005, 07:00 AM
Then that's where you go. Find the city councilman who represents the district you are trying to secure a building permit, and have a little meeting with him/her to make your case.

Phillip Allen
04-21-2005, 07:13 AM
The system dilutes the guilt and makes it hard to hold them accountable. I had experience with the system and the jerk ran a kind of mafia...he was all but untouchable.

The city switched to a mayoral system after the manager ran over everyone for years.

Fitz
04-21-2005, 07:22 AM
Here, the developer just threatens to take the town to court. The Town can't pay attorneys, then issues permit.

Simple.

cs
04-21-2005, 08:46 AM
Court may be an option. The council is part of the problem.

Chad

Hwyl
04-21-2005, 08:49 AM
Apply for a permit for a commercial hog farm, continue the charade fo a few weeks. They'll give you any building permit you want after that. (I know someone who built a hotel using this ruse).

cs
04-21-2005, 09:56 AM
What about state senators? Do they outrank city managers?

Chad

John Bell
04-21-2005, 10:07 AM
It's a matter of turf. A state senator may weild some power, but in most cases it's pretty diluted once you get out of the realm of state government. A court filing may the only way to let the city know you are serious.

rbhawk
04-21-2005, 10:09 AM
We have a city manager here, and every couple years there's a push to replace him with a mayor. A lot of people feel they have no voice in the running of the city.

Our council doesn't help the matter much. They even had a proposal to limit the public's input at council meetings. Lucky they didn't get a mob with clubs and pitchforks outside after that one.
Ray

htom
04-21-2005, 10:09 AM
No. They only think they do. (Seriously, in most states it's a "different sovereignty" so they are not even in the same game.)

seafox
04-21-2005, 12:25 PM
rbhawk wrote
"they were lucky they didn't get a mob with clubs and pitchforks..."

I would putit another way
it is too bad they didn't get a mob with clubs and pitch forks. a good tar and feathering would have inproved the goverment imensely.

we have a mayor and city councle. how much control they have over the city manager and how much control they want over him is an unknown to me
jeffery

Nicholas Carey
04-21-2005, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by Phillip Allen:
The system dilutes the guilt and makes it hard to hold them accountable. I had experience with the system and the jerk ran a kind of mafia...he was all but untouchable.

The city switched to a mayoral system after the manager ran over everyone for years.The city council/city manager form of government was created in Cincinnati (of all places, it's not exactly noted for innovation. Mark Twain said "when the world ends I want to be in Cincinnati—every happens 10 years later there. :D I grew up in Cincinnati.)

It was created as a tool to break the Boss Cox political machine (somewhat like the Tammany Hall crew in NYC WRT to graft, corruption, patronage, etc.) The city council was directly elected by the people, with councilmen elected at large ("Vote for not more than 7 candidates…") so as to avoid pockets of influence. The city council hired a city manager "at will" who could be dismissed without notice. The city council also elects a mayor who is strictly a figurehead with no actual power ("Head of State" as it were).

It worked well and was widely adopted across the US for similar reasons.

It doesn't work quite so well when the system is changed such that councilmen are elected by district rather than at large. To get elected no longer requires keeping everybody happy. With a district representation, often a strong councilman can stay in office for years with no opposition. It's much more difficult to pull that off in at large elections because of the larger choice of candidates.

The system doesn't work well when the system is changed such that the mayor has political clout: it dilutes the effectiveness of the manager.

If you have a bad or ineffective city manager and the council isn't willing to remove him, then vote the bums out of office and replace them with people willing to Do the Right Thing.