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Charter change options

Charter change options

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Published by TucsonSentinel
Working document from the Tucson Charter Change Coalition. 5-20-10.
Working document from the Tucson Charter Change Coalition. 5-20-10.

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Published by: TucsonSentinel on Jun 29, 2010
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Tucson Charter Change Coalition (TC3)
Options for Recommendations
May 20, 2010

The attached document lists several options for each of the four proposed
draft charter change recommendations. Today, the plan is for you to review
each recommendation and each option and to arrive at a consensus on which
options we will submit to the mayor and council.

Important notes:
The Model City Charter, developed by the National Civic League, is used in these options to

provide expert, objective additional information. Beginning in 1900, the National Civic
League eight times has assembled respected practitioners, distinguished scholars and civic
reformers to develop and refine the Model City Charter. The eighth edition was published in
2002 after a committee of 37 experts and professionals met and worked together throughout
18 months. Consequently, the Model City Charter is a compilation of the nation’s best
practices and best thinking on the organization and operation of modern cities.

The experts for the eighth edition included John Nalbandian and James Svara, both of whom
have provided guidance to the Tucson Charter Change Coalition, and Tanis Salant, of the
University of Arizona.

Please note that you have the ability to modify the options today or to create new options.

However, please exert constraint since we must submit the proposed charter changes to the
city council no later than June 8. It would be preferable, if possible, to present the
recommendations on May 25.

Tucson Charter Change Coalition (TC3)
Options for Recommendations
May 20, 2010
Recommendation #1

Revise the city charter and civil service rules so the city manager can better be held accountable – and so the city manager can hold department heads accountable. To do so, eliminate civil service protection for department heads and their deputies and by assigning department heads to report to the city manager.

Options:

a. Eliminate civil service and charter protection for department heads and their immediate deputies, but leave the current appointment and firing powers in place. (Currently, the city council appoints the city manager, attorney and clerk. The city manager appoints the other department heads, sometimes with council approval, but almost all these department heads are protected by civil service.)

b. Eliminate civil service and charter protection for department heads and their immediate deputies.
Authorize the city manager to hire and fire department heads, but require city council approval.

c. Eliminate civil service and charter protection for department heads and their immediate deputies. The city council shall appoint and fire the city manager, the city attorney and the city clerk. The manager shall hire and fire all other department heads, without formal council approval.

d. Eliminate civil service and charter protection for department heads and their immediate deputies.
Authorize the city manager to hire and fire all department heads, including the attorney and the clerk.
Additional information:
Question: Should the city council have formal advise and content power when the city manager
appoints the police chief or fire chief?
Question: Should the charter require the city council to conduct formal evaluations of the manager?
The Model City Charter developed by the National Civic League allows for either the city council or
the city manager to appoint the city clerk and the city attorney. However, the model charter expresses
a preference for the city manager appointing the clerk and attorney.
The model charter says the city manager should appoint the other department heads. It then adds:
Appointments and Removals. Neither the city council nor any of its members shall in any

manner control or demand the appointment or removal of any city administrative officer or
employee whom the city manager or any subordinate of the city manager is empowered to
appoint, but the council may express its views and fully and freely discuss with the city manager
anything pertaining to appointment and removal of such officers and employees.

Interference with Administration. Except for the purpose of inquiries, and investigations under

§ 2.09, the council or its members shall deal with city officers and employees who are subject to
the direction and supervision of the city manager solely through the city manager, and neither the
council nor its members shall give orders to any such officer or employee, either publicly or
privately.

See also the separate research: “City councils’ roles in hiring and firing department heads.” It lists the

practices in 10 western cities. Of them, only Las Vegas requires the city manager to have the approval
of the city council before hiring and firing department heads. In some of the 10 cities, the city
attorney and clerk report to the council; in others, they report to the manager.

Tucson Charter Change Coalition (TC3)
Options for Recommendations
May 20, 2010

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