Sunday, February 25, 2007
Who´s The Boss?
We are many times amazed at the local thinking that the mayor of St.Augustine "runs the city", is the boss, the big cheese. Joseph Boles himself stated prior to the election that the job is "mainly ceremonial". It is becoming clearer at every Commission meeting that Mr. Boles is somewhat of a bully who seems to be playing to certain people in the constituency. This is simply an observation and not a character judgement. The public service provided by the mayor and commisssion members certainly exceeds the 12000 to 17000 compensation dollars a year dealing with the city´s operation. What may appear as autocratic simply can´t be since this mayor is there for new store openings and award ceremonies.
Here is an explanation of the"weak mayor", commission system of city government that we have in St. Augustine.
City Commission government is a form of municipal government that was once common in the United States, but has fallen out of favor, most cities formerly governed by Commission having switched to the Council-Manager form. Some consider the City Commission as a predecessor of the Council-Manager form. In a city commission government, voters elect a small commission, typically from five to seven members, on a plurality-at-large basis. These commissioners constitute the legislative body of the city and as a group are responsible for taxation, appropriations, ordinances, and other general functions.
Individual commissioners are assigned responsibility for a specific aspect of municipal affairs, such as public works, finance, or public safety. One commissioner is designated to function as chairman or mayor, but this is largely a procedural or ceremonial designation and typically did not involve significant additional powers beyond that exercised by the other commissioners. As such, this form of government blends legislative and executive branch functions in the same body. This form of government is used mostly in the South Florida region.
Posted by Karl at 9:17 PM