Mission likely won’t see a change in government form before a new mayor and at least one new council member are elected in April, but the discussion about how to change current practice is continuing into March.
At a work session Wednesday night, the council worked through several issues members have with the current structure, revolving around the committee structure and who sets the agendas for committees and council.
Among options put on the table are changing to a committee of the whole meeting to replace the two standing committee meetings now in place. Often all the councilors attend the committee meetings even if they are not members.
The council will also review other forms of government allowed in Kansas, primarily the city manager form which gives the council more direct authority over the manager. In its current city administrator form, the mayor acts as the CEO and appoints city officers, including the administrator, with council consent.
Lawrence Andre, the councilor who initially proposed a potential change in government form, suggested that even under the current form the council should dictate who chairs committees and the committee membership and agendas should be under council authority rather than the mayor.
“This mayor is no longer going to be here,” Councilor Amy Miller said. “We are going to have somebody brand new who has never a mayor before.” She suggested it was a good time to change procedures the council does not like.
“I give the mayor credit for cleaning a lot of this up in her administration,” Andre said referring to how the structure functions.
Mayor Laura McConwell cautioned about making changes before the election. Councilor Pat Quinn agreed: “I don’t think we should do it before the election.”