Speaking of the stronger-mayor proposal, former City Councilman Bob Stimson stopped by the office just now to give us his thoughts on why the proposal is not a very good one. Stimson is a self-identified “recovering accountant,” so his viewpoint is informed mostly by looking at the budgets. With the budget comes the power, he says. He argues that in the proposed system, the city manager becomes the alter ego of the mayor. The two of them can run the whole show, he says. Yes, but can’t the council just keep firing managers until the mayor picks one the council likes? Nope, says Stimson. The language in the proposal states that the mayor determines the manager’s “compensation,” which could theoretically include such a huge golden parachute that it would be financially unpleasant for the city to do so. Also, as near as Stimson can tell, no other city in the country has a hybird system of government similar to the one currently being proposed.
Note: not one of Stimson’s arguments included any sort of turnstile imagery.