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Consider This: City Manager Government

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 7:01 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Outgoing Jackson City Alderman and new State Representative De’Keither Stamps suggested it is time for the city to look at restructuring its government.

Right now, the city has a strong mayor, weak council model. Mr. Stamps says the city should consider moving to a manager/council form of government.

That structure basically means a city manager serves as the CEO of the city operations and the mayor and council would be on equal footing working together to make decisions.

Right now, the council has little say over how the city is managed.

The mayor/council model may have worked when it was first implemented in the 1980s, but not so much today.

Jackson has had seven mayors since 1997, so every time a new mayor is elected it is basically like starting over. As he gets ready to begin his second term, Mayor Lumumba has the advantage of four years of experience in the job.

Hopefully that on-the-job education will lead to positive developments across the city over the next four years. But what happens if he decides not to seek a third term or does not win reelection if he does run?

The training cycle with a new mayor starts over.

With a City Manager, you have consistency, long-term stability and special training required to deal with the many issues and opportunities of running a large city.

Before moving back home to Mississippi, I lived in several cities across the southeast. Most of those communities had a city manager/council form of government.

Seeing it firsthand, I can tell you, for medium and large cities, that model works. The City Council should approve this resolution and encourage residents to begin the petition process so the option can be included on the ballot in 2022.

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