Eight to four, four to five, and the next request will be five to seven. Shortly, the city will again be paying for more dead wood. Enough is enough. What city councilors want is to eliminate the mayors vote. Why don’t they just say it.
You can eliminate the mayors vote by doing the work you were hired to do. If you only get on the same page and vote for what is good for the city and not for what is in your favor or agenda. This is how it is supposed to work but with two evenly divided factions you all refuse to get along and only vote to be against the other faction. This gives all the power to the mayor and you, the councilors, eliminate any responsibility for anything that goes wrong when, in fact, it is all your doing. Quit blaming the mayor. He should only be there to break a rare tie when you are truly deadlocked, and not for every vote.
There are reasons for having exempt employees. Department heads are to make a department run without exceeding their budget, working fairly for the people and without favoritism. When they fail to do this, there should be no question as to whether he or she is a nice person and can explain your bill or not. Explaining the bill should be left to customer service. The problems in this city have been in the utilities department with gas, water and customer service. They were not fixed by the now-fired director. Get over it. Hire someone that can do the job.
A five councilor city works. I have seen it in the city of Sonoma, Calif. They , however, had no elected mayor. The councilors all took their turn serving at large as the mayor to sign papers and do all those feel-good functions a mayor must perform.
It is time for this city to hire a good city manager and for all to let him or her do their job. Hire some permanent department heads for their skills and not if they are nice or you know them and are local.
Jose J. Marquez CEC, USN ret.