Skip to comments.Will Annapolis council strip mayor-elect Pantelides of key powers? [Republican = Political)
Posted on 11/12/2013 1:58:32 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
Mayor-elect Mike Pantelides honeymoon as the new chief executive of Annapolis might end before it begins, as City Council members say that next term they plan to revisit legislation that would strip the mayors office of much of its power.
Alderman Ross Arnett, D-Ward 8, said he will introduce a charter amendment to move Annapolis to a full council-manager form of government.
This would create a position similar to the current city manager, except that the official would report directly to the City Council, not the mayor. He or she would also manage all department heads.
The mayors post would become largely ceremonial, although he would retain his single vote on the council.
Arnett, who introduced similar legislation in 2010, said a full council-manager government would stabilize city management.
But if the measure were approved and implemented, it would mean that a council dominated 7-to-1 by Democrats would be removing the powers of the first Republican executive elected since Dean Johnson in 1997.
Pantelides, 30, last week defeated Democratic incumbent Josh Cohen by 59 votes.
The Annapolis Board of Canvassers took two days to verify the results of the election due to numerous objections from lawyers for both campaigns. The results still need to be certified by the Annapolis city clerk.
On election night, the new mayor said he would oppose a change to a council-manager government.
Annapolis, Pantelides said, has had its current form of government for 300 years and its fine. Its not something that just came up.
Annapolis current city manager, Michael D. Mallinoff, is both appointed by and supervised by the mayor, although he reports to both the mayor and the City Council. The City Council can fire the city manager without mayoral approval.
Having the city manager report solely to the council would help remove political considerations from day-to-day decisions, Arnett said.
One of the big problems in this administration is we had a two-headed monster, he said. We had a certified city manager and had a mayor as chief executive, and when the final decision is made, its made by the political person.
If approved, a full council-manager government could be implemented anytime in the next four years, Arnett said.
Arnett, who has met with other members of the council since Tuesdays election, did not say when he would introduce the legislation. But he said he was sure it has support.
The votes are there, Arnett said. A guaranteed, ironclad five votes possibly a sixth.
Aldermen Ian Pfeiffer, D-Ward 7, Sheila Finlayson, D-Ward 4 and Joe Budge, D-Ward 1, said they supported a full council-manager form of government. Jared Littmann, D-Ward 5, said he could see both sides of the issue. Kenny Kirby, D-Ward 6, declined comment.
Fred Paone, R-Ward 2, and Rhonda Pindell Charles, D-Ward 3, could not be reached for comment.
All the aldermen who support a full council-manager government denied doing so because Pantelides is a Republican. Yet some, like Finlayson, apparently have changed their minds on the issue.
In 2010, Finlayson successfully pushed an amendment to legislation to allow mayoral authority over the city manager.
I want professional management and mayoral control, she said at the time.
When asked on Friday, Finlayson said maybe my legislation didnt go far enough. She said the fate of the citys 542 full-time employees should not depend on the political interests of the executive.
I dont like the fact that department heads are now wringing their hands wondering if our city manager is going to have a job, Finlayson said.
Budge said a manager who reports to the council would be someone whose experience would help him or her manage the citys $94.5 million operating budget.
According to the City Charter, the Annapolis city manager must have eight years of experience in public administration and an advanced degree in business or public administration.
Pantelides, who has never held public office or worked in local government, does not have such credentials, Budge said.
One of the key reasons why people were concerned about Mikes candidacy to be mayor is he has no experience managing an organization, he said.
One of the main supporters of a council-manager form of government in 2010 was also one of Pantelides biggest supporters former Alderman David Cordle. Cordle, a Republican, championed the issue in the 2009 mayoral campaign, when he unsuccessfully ran against Cohen.
Pantelides was Cordles campaign manager during part of the campaign. Cohen defeated Cordle by 89 votes in the general election.
On Friday, Cordle said he still thinks a city manager should run day-to-day operations in Annapolis. But the mayor should retain a strong position in city government, he said.
Turning over all of city government to a manager who reports to the council would go against the will of the people, Cordle said.
Its really simple to me, he said. The people dont come out to vote for a city manager. They come out to vote for a mayor to lead the city.
The new Annapolis City Council and mayor are scheduled to be sworn in on Dec. 2.
For 300 years it's been just fine having the Annapolis, Maryland mayor hold "key powers," that is UNTIL a Republican is elected!
Now it's imperative that the city council strip the Mayor's power because (as we can see from these quotes) they have indited and convicted him of being political.
And this tells us what? That Democrats are not political?!
As long as the law doesn’t go into effect until the next election.
Communists rule by coup.
What else is new?
Obama and the Democrats on Capital Hill use it regularly when describing the reason that they can't get things done - it's because of the "politics" being played (by the Right, of course).
When were taking a tour of Maryland's State House (which is in Annapolis) we were greeted at the building's front door by an employee who engaged us in conversation -- to make a point. He gestured over to where the Maryland Governor's mansion was located and said, "We call it the People's House but now with a Republican gov, I guess it will be called the Governor's Mansion."
Okay. Odd but perhaps just one disgruntled Democrat.
Proceeding inside we were directed to join a group about to take a tour.
The docent walked up and after greeting us proceeded to apologize to the assembled group over the fact that the people of Maryland had just elected a Republican as their governor.
It was delightful!
“he has no experience managing an organization, he said.”
Gee! That statement reminds me of something. What could it be?????