19 thoughts on “Do we need a city manager?

  1. For the present and for the city of Mitchell’s size, I think the status quo — part time mayor to whom the full time department heads report to, is fine. Besides a full time city manager would command a full time salary, which I’m guessing wouldn’t be cheap. What isn’t getting done efficiently that would be with a manager?

  2. You will have your chance to have your say. Get involved and attend the meetings in person, on the web, radio and get educated. Make an informed choice and help city make the right decision.

  3. the status quo is not fine- let’s lo0ok at the record- the city manager form of goverance came out of the reforms of the 1980″s- you might say Mr Hysel is really our city manager- his back ground in education from USD and public administration degree program is a perfect fit. All we will ever get with a part-time mayor is some retiree to run city affairs- in this day and age it takes a professional to compete with other cities and affairs. I urge you to get informed and look up what is means to have a city manager form of goverance.

    This would then take away our mayor- the council then elects it’s presiding officer putting more power in the council who really represent us.

    Maybe we’d have less secret government and deals going on? This administration is not open to public input or comments but rather criticizes those who do?

  4. Why not just always require the Mayor’s position to be a full time position.(Do we really want to add another person/salary?) We are lucky that Lou does work full time but that always hasnt been the case. In my opinion you would still need the Dept. heads as I dont think we could find an individual that would have full knowledge of all the city departments…IF we did COULD we afford them?

  5. Whether Mitchell needs a city manager and whether it will ever get one are two different questions. City department heads probably are against it because a lot of them will believe it would cut down on their authority. The Mitchell coffee shop gossip crowd is probably against it because they are afraid it would be a waste of money.

  6. This is something like the eighth time I have recently read mention here of some shadowy group of coffee-shop confederates. Where is this coming from? Is this the meme about how coffee drinker = effete coastal elite? Or maybe the Islamofascists are corrupting us with their arabica beans. Please explain; I don’t get it. In any case, in which coffee shop can we find these Bavarian Creme Illuminati?

  7. Seems like “my three cents” has an issue with secrecy on the part of the current administration. Not sure secrecy goes away with a manager vs. a mayor. After all, the mayor is accountable to the citizens. If a manager gets chummy with 1 more than half of the council, he or she’s set.

    The manager is really accountable to the council first, the citizens second.

    Also, if you’re going to opt for a professionally trained manager with a Masters in Public Administration, it’s going to come with a price tag.

    Hopefully, the council and citizens will make an effort to become better informed than “three cents” and make their decision on facts and not fears.

  8. Lets give truth a chance. Contrary to what seems to be the underlying current in Mitchell, a good executive would save the city money, give the city guidance and a consistant direction, and ultimately not just pay for his salary, but keep the city from wasting money like it has done with the Hitchcock pool. We have spent 4.5 million on an outdoor pool for 70 days a year with what return. That is not enough. Now we are being asked to spend another 5 plus million on an indoor pool. That totals about 10 MILLION dollars for a place to swim. A city manager could help with the transition of mayors, councils, department heads etc to add some stability and common sense. I do not blame the status quo but see nothing wrong with looking into making things better. Good luck.

  9. It’s called Accountability! I think a city manager is a great idea. Someone to crack the whip om some of these lax city departments. Trim the fat and get things done.

  10. Maybe the question of the day should be: do we need a new mayor and new council? (& new school board, new county commission, congressperson, senator, etc.)

    Judging from what happen in yesterday’s elections, it seems that there is a growing clamor for change, all over the country.

    Incumbents – local, state, federal) and institutions – government and business (including media) enjoy less & less support.

    The pendulum is swinging as the political class is nervous and the voters are angry – in Washington and in Mitchell.

  11. What facts? (See 6:13 am post). It’s easy to say “lax city departments” without naming those departments. Come on Big Belly, if you know of some wayward department, name it. Apparently you and others feel strongly about this, (advocating “cracking the whip”), but why won’t you be more specific? Throwing vague charges around, especially anonymously, is easy. What is the fat that needs trimming? What isn’t getting done that needs to get done?
    I am more than willing to listen to honest, open criticism in the hopes of ensuring honest, open government, but please back up your anonymous opinion with some facts.

  12. As with many of life’s mysteries, some are not to be solved — ever. But out of concern for Craticula, and other civic-minded citizens, I would urge that all secret coffee drinkers and tea party demonstrators that have a dog in this fight just chill out. Maybe a beer summit is the answer here.

  13. Craticula, Mayor Sebert makes the rounds to about 3 coffee groups weekly or more often.

  14. Good for Sebert. Good politicians meet with their constituents frequently. Some even drink coffee.

  15. For Huh? I apparently hit a nerve. Must be you work for the city, love someone that works for the city or are a lifetime Mitchell resident.

    The public works department….to be exact streets dept. I have lived in my home for 6 years now and for almost 5 of those 6 years I complained to the streets dept about our alley entrance. I sent several emails and made several calls, with the answer…we will check into it. Finally it was fixed last fall.

    Parks Dept.

    Litter control and dog waste around Doty park. I am a responsible citizen and clean up after my pets. It is unsanitary for our children & grand children.

    Traffic Dept.

    Excessive speeders in residential areas, school zones and especially N. Minnesota near Mitchell Christian. Why not have an officer posted near the bypass when school is starting & ending?

    I know there is more, I will get to those another day.

  16. I already have a degree in public administration and work for a concern- maybe you don’t even know what it means to get that degree or what is involved- never mind most folks like their opinions with their cereal and have nothing to back them up with. Obviously you know also little of the city manager form of government also. In this day and age we can not afford to keep having a part-time mayor- retiree and expect that person- whether you like their style or not to work full time for us- this is insanity pure and simple. Come on people get some facts before you throw out your thoughtless opinions??

  17. Talk about a thoughtless opinion! What is your public administration degree — bachelor, masters, or doctoral level? Sounds like your anonymous opinion is lacking some facts, too. How much would a typical city manager make in a small city like Mitchell? What has been the experience of similar cities in the Dakotas that tried a city manager form?

    Sounds like you might have a vested interest in this fight — perhaps you’re looking for a job. If so, good luck. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. But, because you work for a “concern” which we don’t know if it’s in the private or public sector, I’m not persuaded that you have any practical experience to support your opinion, even if it’s an opinion informed by an associates, bachelors, or masters level degree in public administration. I can think of eight cities in the upper Midwest, including 1 in North Dakota, which are all bigger than Mitchell and have part time mayors. Grand Forks, for example, has a part time mayor who is a practicing physician and does not have a city manager, but rather an administrative assistant. Go to grandforksgov.com to see how well things are going up there.

    There are pros and cons to this issue, but this should be thoroughly researched and debated. And we need better information than is provided in the 10:18 am post to make an informed decision.

    As a potential applicant for a city manager’s job, that poster will have to do a significantly better job of making the case for a change.

    By the way, if you like, maybe we could elevate this discussion. I’d be more than willing to do so — including comparing professional backgrounds.

  18. sound like an attitude man- what kind of professional do you claim to be? a negative one with an exe to grind- grind on baby !!

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