LWVCA does not support either a council-manager or a mayor-council form of government in preference to the other. LWVCA does support programs and policies that ensure a municipal government functions effectively, regardless of form.
Approved by LWVCA Board of Directors on November 4, 2013
On October 24, 2013, a consensus meeting was held on the forms of government for the City of Columbia. The discussion was both informative and lively. At the end of the evening, a consensus could not be reached to support one form of municipal government in preference to the other. Notwithstanding, there was agreement that the eight specific criteria highlighted in 2005 by the LWV of the Columbia Area remain relevant today, with some amended language. Consensus was also reached that the Columbia League should make other recommendations to the public and elected city government officials to improve city governance.
Twelve agreed upon principles of a municipal government:
1. Development of a plan for the present and a vision for the future, a road map;
2. Assurance that the policy-making branch (city council) works closely with the administrative branch;
3. Identification of a liaison between policy-maker and administration in order to provide clear direction to the administrative branch as described in the statute.
4. Employment of qualified and trained staff, in terms of education and experience.
5. Maintenance of checks and balances, nonpartisanship and diversity in terms of female and minority representation on city council;
6. Provision for involvement of citizens;
7. Assurance that the system provides a prompt response to citizen requests for service;
8. Coordination and cooperation among agencies and among all levels of government: city, county, and state;
9. Requirement that a city manager meet International City/County Manager Association (ICMA) certification requirements and adhere to ICMA ethical standards;
10. Requirement that city council requires training for all council members;
11. Adherence by city council members to the consti,tutional and statutory scope of their positions;
12. Recognition by the mayor and city council members, as the policy-making and legislative body, that they have equal responsibility to build consensus on the council and within the community around a vision of the city's future.