LETTER: Not fully informed? Then don’t vote for itThe Focus 2020 Government Structure Committee is trying to change Mitchell’s mayor-city council form of government to a city manager form of government. Their hard sell makes it sound like our current form of government is broken.
By: Terry Timmins, Mitchell, The Daily Republic
The Focus 2020 Government Structure Committee is trying to change Mitchell’s mayor-city council form of government to a city manager form of government. Their hard sell makes it sound like our current form of government is broken.
I say, “Why fix something that isn’t broken?” Just think of all the things the city has accomplished in the last few years. The following is a list of some of the accomplishments: a major repair to the city’s spillway, the completion of the B-Y water project, attracting new businesses to town (Cabela’s and Graphic Packaging), a new building for the Pepsi-Cola Theatre, a new hockey rink, improvements to the Cadwell Sports Complex, a new water tower, replacement of the old swimming pool and a new soccer field.
With our current form of government, you get to elect the mayor. You will never get to vote for the city manager. The average city manager can earn up to $100,000 per year plus benefits of another $50,000. The learning curve for a new manager would be at least a year or more. The new manager will likely be hired from outside the Mitchell area. The average tenure of a city manager is three to five years.
Most elected officials have lived in Mitchell for more than 10 years. Most city department heads have been working for the city for more than 10 years. They don’t need a city manager looking over their shoulder.
The Government Structure Committee took on the responsibility of educating the public about the city manager form of government. What the committee didn’t do was bring the mayors of Huron and Madison to Mitchell. They could have explained how both cities got rid of their city manager form of government.
There are nine members of the committee. A majority of the committee supported hiring a city manager, but a sizable minority favored hiring a full-time mayor. It seems that all the discussion has been about hiring a city manager. The voters of Mitchell will have to decide the issue without knowing all the facts.
If you feel that you are not fully informed about the city manager form of government, I urge you to vote against the measure on Tuesday.