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In the past, Brady had a Mayor-Council form of government.  However, the salary was not sufficient to attract a person with the experience necessary to properly manage the city on a full-time basis.  Some years ago, citizens voted on and approved a Home Rule Charter form of government.  In this form of government, the city’s day-to-day business is managed on a full-time basis by a professional City Manager, paid in accordance with his experience.  His performance is evaluated and guided by an elected City Council that sets the policies of the city. The Mayor becomes essentially a figurehead organizing the City Council’s deliberations.

   The implementation of this new form of government is taking time to establish.  In fact, the elected officials have been slow to accept this concept and in the recent past, the Mayor dominated the City Manager and directed his efforts daily.  The City Council just went along.  The City Managers that were qualified resigned and the unqualified ones accepted their instructions in order to keep their jobs.  This defeated the purpose of the Charter, which was to utilize the experience of a professional manager.    

    Gradually, the City Council is beginning to understand how the charter is supposed to work.  Unfortunately, the limited management experience of the Mayor and the Council members has created confusion.  The Charter Review Committee appears to suffer from the same limited management experience.  Therefore the voters need to carefully evaluate the proposed amendments to our Charter prior to the upcoming election. 

    There is a basic concept in management that must be understood and never violated.  A person’s authority must always exactly equal his responsibility.  He can never be held responsible for anything beyond his authority to control.  He can never be allowed authority to control anything he is not responsible for.  All employee position guides must be carefully written to reflect this concept. 

    The City Manager must be a professional with city management experience because he is responsible for the city’s day-to-day business.  He must be allowed complete authority to accomplish that.  The Council is responsible for establishing the policy of the city, but must not interfere with the City Manager’s control of city employees and their tasks to accomplish those policies.  Doing so usurps the City Manager’s authority and thus relieves him of his responsibility.

    His overall performance is to be evaluated by the Council.  One of these performance measures is how well he meets the budget proposed by him and approved by the Council.  This establishes the fiscal position of the City.  In turn, the citizens evaluate the performance of the City Council and one of those measures is the fiscal position of the City.  While the Council has the right to replace the City Manager, the citizens retain the right to replace the Council members based on their performance. 

    Some of the charter amendments included in the upcoming election do not conform to these concepts and should not be approved by the voters.  There will be various reviews of the amendments available to the public prior to the election.  One source of reviews by experienced, knowledgeable citizens will appear in the forum on the website.  It is important that all voters study these reviews and consider the amendments carefully before voting, as this ballot is lengthy and complicated with 31 different items to vote on.

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