Manager or mayor?

The future of Mitchell city government was discussed Monday night but only about 40 people attended the meeting at MTI.

A USD professor and a graduate student made presentations and members of Focus 2020 said it was apparent to them that a $33 million entity like Mitchell needs a full-time executive. Another meeting is set at MTI’s Technology Center at 7 p.m. Monday, June 28.

Will you attend? Do you think a change is needed? Do you favor a full-time manager/administrator or a mayor?

19 thoughts on “Manager or mayor?

  1. I was schoked to see councilman Olson call the pub. admin program at USD- “junk science”- maybe he’s teaching “junk” history to our students? How about that Mr Mel?

  2. Sorry. Changing subject but do we the tax payers have to pay for all the emergency, ambulance, police and fire/rescue people who had to chase after the father son combo who thought it would be fun to go rafting down Firesteel Creek last night??? What a couple of morons. I hope they make their names public information (not sure why they wouldn’t?) and make them pay what it cost the city for their stupidity.

  3. I don’t often agree with Mel BUT I appreciate his viewpoint as it is always from the heart.

  4. To “resident, MHS alum,” as a MHS alum myself, I am embarassed that you can’t read or comprehend what you read. According to the paper, Olson said the study done by USD was based on “junk science.” Olson didn’t call USD’s public administration program “junk science.” There is a huge difference between what Olson said and what you claim he said.

  5. I think Olson raised a legitimate concern about the USD grad students weighting of “professionalism” of the different cities.

    By that criterion, let’s say Mitchell’s mayor was still part-time, and the position was occupied by a DWU professor with a doctorate in public administration. Mitchell’s weighted score would under professionalism would be less than another city whose administration was under a full-time city manager with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in public administration. The gist of the study had merit, but some of the analysis was flawed.

    Still, Dr. Card raised a lot of good points that should be considered by the council, and they and the 2020 group should be commended for exploring this change.

    Being the mayor is a demanding job. Mitchell has been extremely fortunate for many, many years, having individuals willing to serve a full-time commitment despite part-time compensation.

  6. no wonder there is little political discourse here when all you guys do is to blast someone’s point of view- man what a bunch of meanies

  7. Tom- are you the new guy on the block? Please id yourself so we can get to know you properly- and good luck at the daily- new blood is always good to have and a new perspective here too.

  8. Responsible and responsive public service is something Mitchell’s enjoyed for a long time. Not happy with the mayor? Elect another one when the term is over. Really unhappy with the mayor? Recall him or her. Have a full-time city manager with contract and a salary of perhaps $100K, and you’re unhappy with him or her? It could very well cost the taxpayers for a buyout, and for the time-consuming ‘national search’ that would start all over again.

  9. After a huge demand — OK, two comments – I will offer this brief bio.
    I’m Tom Lawrence, the new assistant editor at The Daily Republic. Brookings native, SDSU grad, history major who studied journalism. Worked for newspapers across West and Midwest since 1978 with some other jobs at times. Baseball fan, political and history devotee and a guy who is glad to be home in eastern South Dakota amidst the friendly, smart people who read this blog.

  10. … okay, I get the dog comment, but if you guys start sniffing each other’s butts, I’m outta here.

    Hi Tom! I’m Kari Lucin; I’m the online content coordinator at the Daily Globe, another Forum publication centered in Worthington, Minnesota. I try to keep up with the Republic Insider. (The Globe’s blogs, including mine, can be found here:

  11. not everyone here is a fool although you can tell by the comments our town has it’s share- I therefore propose the following idea to our chamber of commerce- Let’s have a comnvention of village idiots- the mayor can host.

  12. I don’t live in Mitchell anymore, but what do you gain by having a city administrator? I’ve lived in towns that had both, and I don’t think I’ve seen a town run any better than Mitchell. I don’t get it. The Mitchell school district has a executive, is it run better than the city? If they do go to a full-time city administrator, however, Mitchell residents should demand that the mayor’s salary be cut in half — at least half — because the mayor would basically be a figurehead/ribbon cutter.

  13. I do know that most city manager forms of goverance have the mayor’s office in the following sense: the council meets and elects a president and that is the mayor- anyway the mayor issue should not be the stickibng point here- in 1948 the idea of a city-manager was first brought to council and public discussio by then Joe Roby- yep the former Miami Dolphins owner who lived here at that time.It’s not its just about time we get moving on this. Another example is to get some of the USD political affairs research bureau on the forms of goverance fights at Sioux City- a good case study what the city manager form of government had at its disadvantage there was the bust economy of the 1980’s which led to political instability. So if you want to see a city struggle with city manager removal Sioux City did it a couple of times only to bring it back again to their city. Our industrial development director, Hisel has a public administration degree I’m surprised the paper hasn’t sought his input or his experience as to what it takes to be a city manager. I think it’s time we moved from a part-time mayor trying to do a full time job to a professional who will be ultimately responsible to council and the citizens for his/her work.

  14. Why doesn’t anyone talk about the commission form of municipal government?

    For reasons unfathomable to me the City of Sioux Falls abandoned the mayor/commission model a decade or so ago in favor on the mayor/council model. The commission form had worked well for years and years with minimal political infighting. Lines of authority were clearly drawn and, as the commissioners were directly responsible for city departments, a problem with, say, public works was resolved via the responsible, elected commissioner…not by a gaggle of aldermen trying to catch the ear of a separate department director.

    Huron and Spearfish [I think] still successfully operate under the commission form.

    Just a thought.

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