Fox Lays Out Plan For True City Manager
I am Chris Fox and I am an Independent Candidate for Mayor of Annapolis. Throughout my campaign, I have been calling for government reform for the City of Annapolis. I am the only candidate on the general election ballot who has supported a change to the current city charter through a transition to a Council Manager form of government. My resolve has been steady and firm–I did not change my position mid stream. This form of government would create a City Manager which would give each citizen of Annapolis a better connection to, and influence over, their government. This approach requires a City Manager to report to the entire City Council and not solely serve at the pleasure of the Mayor, as the current City Administrator position does. This certainly is not an indictment on the current administration, rather a recognition that Annapolis has grown significantly: the City operates a budget exceeding 86 million dollars and employs an estimated 650 employees.
The current strong Mayor form of government practiced in Annapolis, keeps both policy creation and policy execution under the same individuals responsibility, and power. A council manager form of government would protect the residents by creating a better checks and balance system. Much like the Federal and State governments, this change will create an executive side of government, to execute policy, and a legislative side of government, to create policy.
Another protection under this form of governance, is that the City Manger will be hired based upon experience and professionalism. The City Council will select the best candidate, based on a majority vote, in lieu of an appointee by the Mayor, which often results in favoritism and partisanship. Currently the City Administrator is appointed by the Mayor, and all too often this appointment is a result of cronyism or owed favors. We do not need to look too far to see the results of such an appointment.
The City Manger will additionally provide continuity between elected terms, and permit the ability to make mid-term changes. If a City Manger is hired that excels at his or her position, they may be retained from one administration to the next, creating a smoother transition between terms and providing consistency within the government. Vise-versa, if the city is not operating to the approval of the residents of Annapolis, the council may call for a no confidence vote, and remove the current City Manager without having to wait out an entire election cycle.
As in most major organizations, the executive committee is made up of a Chief Executive Officer and a Chief Operating Officer. We need a Chief Operating Officer to carry out the day to day operations set forth from the Mayor and the City Council in the most cost effective manner. By eliminating the current City Administrator position, which presently serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and does not delegate day to day operations of the city, the City Manager position will pay for itself. A City Manger position has proven itself in other local city governments by paying three to five times its salary worth in similar city budgets.
It is time to raise the bar of functionality, responsiveness, and efficiency of the City. Many agree that the current system is not working the best for its residents, now is the time to fix that. I believe that the Council Manager form of government is the best way to move forward. I believe that this is best for all Annapolitans, and that it what my administration is all about, what is best for all Annapolitans.
For more information on Chris’s vision for Annapolis, please visit his website!
Category: Local Politics