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Annapolis Poll

| April 25, 2010, 11:08 AM | 4 Comments

What Are Your Feelings On City Manager Bills?

Tomorrow, the City Council will be voting on three different bills which surround the contentious City Manager initiative. Today’s Capital (and Josh Stewart) did a good job explaining the players and controversy surrounding it.

Most, if not all, of the City Council, including the Mayor, have flip flopped on their positions at least one time since they were trying to get elected last fall.  The Mayor has a habit of saying that he is accountable to the residents of Annapolis. Likewise, the Aldermen are accountable to the residents of their respective wards. Or at least they are supposed to be. Several Aldermen are very lax in responding to constituents and that, in and of itself, is a huge disappointment.

But if they are to be accountable to the residents, what are your thoughts?  In a nutshell, here are the differences between the amendments:

Cordle Amendment CA-09-09: The hiring of a City Manager who is certified by the ICMA in municipal management. This individual will report to the City Council. Read the full amendment here.

Finlayson Amendment CA-03-10: Hiring a City Manager who is certified by the ICMA in municipal management. This individual will report to the Mayor, but must have council approval for removal. Also changes the title to Chief Administrative Officer. Read the full amendment here.

Cohen Amendment CA-04-10: The creation of a Chief Administrative Officer hired by the Mayor, approved by the Council, and eliminates the requirement for any municipal management experience. Read the full amendment here.

For any amendment to pass requires 5 votes fro the Council including the Mayor and with the way the council has been waffling, it is anyone’s guess. Alderman Silverman co-sponsored CA-03-10, yet in his video, he waffles and says that he is feeling pressure from his ward to support the Cordle amendment.

What are your opinions? Please vote in the poll and the results will be forwarded to the Aldermen and Mayor prior to their votes–or non-votes. Remember, if there is not 5 in support of any one amendment, City Government will continue as it is now, or until a referendum is placed on the ballot.

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About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for nearly 25 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Mike Smith says:

    so far Cohen has done nothing great for our city but create a mess on top of a mess with the help of Smith

  2. molly smith says:

    I disagree with the above comment. Josh and Smith are a doing a very difficult job. Thinning a bureaucracy fed by 8 years of steroids is not an easy task. These “programs” have been hyped by their creators but where is the result? I might add, that with the exception of Josh, EACH author of the other proposed ammendments were “at the helm” driving us into this typhoon with great bravado. There is quite a culture shift going on (at least I hope)from NO suppervision “do what ever you want” to “what are we doing and what are the results?” I think that Smith is ready, willing and most importantly ABLE to cut through the smoke and mirrors downtown with deliberate and thoughtful care.

  3. As currently written, CA-09-09 originally sponsored by Alderman Dave Cordle (R-5) is the only of the three Charter Amendments that offers real and substantive change for Annapolis and its future.

    Critics point to the financial train wreck that this Administration inherited, the refreshing leadership and tone that Mayor Cohen has brought to City Hall since his Administration took office in early December 2009. They also proclaim that Mayor Cohen should be given a chance to continue his vision and show that his leadership will bring the City back to what Annapolitans expect and deserve. .

    There is no doubt that Mayor Cohen inherited a financial train wreck and has made tremendous progress at City Hall, has shown extraordinary leadership in making some tough decisions that were long overdue in the process of beginning to downsizing our City Government and its vastly over inflated budget which still has a projected structural deficit of $13+ Million. The Mayor is correct in citing that while City revenues are indisputably down, City expenses is where much of the problem exists.

    During this year’s budget meetings, the City’s Finance Committee asked for help from professional auditors, and outside professionals to advise it on the proper questions and items to be focused on. A City Manager under the Council-Manager form of government as outlined in CA-09-09 would provide them this expert advice without the additional cost of outside consultants.

    In concluding CA-09-09 is not about the failures of the Moyer Administration, or the early successes of the Cohen Administration, nor the far reaching possibilities of the next Administration; it is about what is best for our City and its long term management and stability. It is never good practice to design legislation that is based on an individual and/or their performance.

    I support CA-09-09 and the Council-Manager form of Government, because it is what’s best for Annapolis and its future.

  4. Bill Kardash says:

    Amendment CA-03-10, as proposed by Ald. Finlayson does NOT require an ICMA certified “city manager”. It simply requires “5 years of experience in public administration”. As a result, someone with a Federal, State or even philanthropic background could be named to fill this important position. CA-09-09, “the Cordle Amendment”, DOES require “8 years of experience in city management”. The difference is huge. Further, no credible city manager, who is a member of the ICMA, would accept a position that is not true to the Council-Manager system, where the FULL Council, not just the Mayor, controls his/her actions. Lastly, the Finlayson Amendment is really just a name change in the present system. If you look at the existing Charter, the duties and supervision of the “city administrator” is almost identical to Finlayson’s “city manager”. Adopting this bill will be no change at all.

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