Wednesday, June 10, 2009

City manager perspective from afar


Fortune placed two of your newpaper's issues into my hands last week in Aspen, Colo.

Your news was educational and interesting to read, especially the article titled "City manager talks slow down" (May 20).

I was surprised to discover your city did not already have a city manager-city council government since it was out West. The Municipal League, during the latter years of the 1890s, invented this government structure to keep American blacks down and keep progressive whites from achieving their goals. It is an intentional government structure that makes change much harder to accomplish.

The city manager-city council spread from the South and enveloped the West. In the Northeast and Midwest, the mayor-city council government system tended to prevail.

The city manager-city council system tends to keep City Hall power in the hands of unelected technocrats by using at-large elections and/or suppressing election districts. Of course it has variations and hybrids.

Can't you amend your city charter so your mayor can vote on all issues before your City Council?

Read "Who Rules America Now" by G. William Domhoff to understand the city manager-city council scheme. Mr. Domhoff's older book, "Who Rules America (1965) is a brilliant, classic study of understanding ruling class/power elite sociology.

Good luck in your endeavor of research and decision. I wish you well from Aspen.

Emzy Veazy III

Aspen, Colo.




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