“The proposed changes in this ordinance constitute a unilateral change in the form of government, curtailing the powers of the chief executive officer and administrative officer, while increasing the powers of the city council,” Shaffstall wrote.
He believed the changes would, in effect, require the council to approve every action by the city administrator and, though he would have the ability to hire and fire staff, he would be unable to provide staff with direction, requiring daily council meetings.
“The proposed changes strip the mayor and city administrator of nearly all functions and authority,” Shaffstall wrote. “The proposed changes reassert the mayor as the chief executive officer, but then impose on the executive officer’s ability to give direction to the chief administrative officer, while stripping both offices of the ability to execute city policy. This simply isn’t a workable form of government.”
The city would be better served by working on a home rule charter so that when the city’s population reaches 5,000, the issue can be put before voters and, if approved, would give the city more rights and powers than are allowed general law cities under state law, Shaffstall said.