Ditch the City Manager?

by:  Diane Benjamin

The International City Managers Association (ICMA) sends a DAILY email.  Remember, Mayor Renner used to work for this group and David Hales is a member.

The story below from the email caught my attention.  Why would an International group want to promote council-manager form of government?

Update on ICMA’s Fund for Professional Management and Life, Well Run campaign
For nearly three decades, ICMA’s Fund for Professional Management has helped communities adopt or retain the council-manager form of government. During the past fiscal year, the association’s Life, Well Run public-awareness campaign also has promoted the value of professional management on a national scale. Read a quick update on both initiatives, then log in to become a supporter of one or both of these important programs.
To answer that question, look no farther than Bloomington.  7 Council members vote YES on almost everything David Hales puts on the agenda.  The Council hired David Hales, but in reality they gave their power to him.  They don’t represent the citizens who elected them, they are YES people for Hales.

Hales is influenced by an INTERNATIONAL organization.  He receives their emails.  He attends their conferences.  Since many cities have adopted the council-manager form of government, who is really controlling the cities?

That brings me to a Renner email I found this morning while looking for something else.  The beginning has to do with former employees being forced to sign confidentiality agreements.  The Red part is what is interesting.  Does he mean it?  Do you appreciate being run by an International group?

On Mon, Sep 2, 2013 at 1:42 PM, Tari Renner<[email protected]> wrote:

I have heard similar stories for many years and they really are VERY disturbing if they’re true.  If they were supposed to apply to the entire family, it may not be constitutional or enforceable.  I don’t even know how Hamilton could’ve threatened them with their pensions since that should be automatic.  I would like to find out if this has some element of truth but, even if I can verify the information, I may not be able to do anything directly (except to propose an ordinance that prohibits this practice in the future).  Of course, getting to the bottom of this would involve obtaining legal documents and I’m not exactly on good speaking terms with City Legal. 🙂
The bottom line is I still can’t fully understand how our city government was totally dominated for many many years by an unelected bureaucrat – that’s the broader outrage even if some of the specific cases are exaggerated or untrue.
I may propose abolishing the city manager government once I prepare to leave office (people might charge I’m doing it for power monetary reasons if I do so now since it would involve giving my position more authority and money). That may be the only time I could do so and have the edge on moral authority.
Thanks Diane!
Take care.


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