King County Local Voters Pamphlet
November 6, 2001 General Election
City of SeaTac
Proposition No. 1
PROPOSITION NO. 1
PROPOSED CHANGE IN PLAN OF
COUNCIL-MANAGER TO MAYOR-COUNCIL
Shall the City of SeaTac abandon its present
Council-Manager plan of government under which
it currently operates under RCW 35A.13 and
adopt in its place the Mayor-Council plan of
government under the provisions of RCW 35A.12?
__ Rejected __
The City of SeaTac is authorized by state law to be governed under one of two plans
of government. SeaTac now operates under the Council-Manager plan. If approved,
this proposition would change the plan of government to the Mayor-Council plan.
Pursuant to RCW 35A.13, the Council-Manager plan of government, now in effect,
consists of an elected city council which is the legislative body of the city. The council
appoints the city manager who is the chief executive officer of the city government.
The councilmembers choose a chairperson from among their number who has the title
of mayor and who presides at meetings of the council and is recognized as the head
of the city for ceremonial purposes.
Pursuant to RCW 35A.12, the government of a city which adopts the Mayor-Council
plan is vested in an elected mayor and an elected city council. The council is the
legislative body of the city. The mayor is the chief executive officer and is the
ceremonial head of the city. The mayor may appoint a chief administrative officer. The
mayor also presides at council meetings, but with a vote only in the case of a tie, and
with right of veto, subject to override by a majority of the councilmembers plus one.
A "Yes" vote is in favor of changing to the Mayor-Council plan of government.
A "No" vote is against the change and favors retention of the existing Council-
Out of 275 cities and towns, 226 (82%) operate under the Mayor
Council form of government. We would take it a step further. The
real plus is that an elected Mayor is someone who lives in our city
and knows the problems; therefore they have a better answer for
righting the wrong. Allow the voters to elect a Mayor and then hire
a Chief Administrative Officer to serve under the Mayor. Then we
have a high Profile Mayor Who can focus on policy direction and
political leadership, as well as a CAO for administrative details.
There is a separation of power between executive and legislative
branches. This provides a healthy independence and the best
opportunity for debate and consensus building. A skilled administrator
can minimize an elected Mayor’s background, yet the
Mayor is fully responsible.
|REBUTTAL OF STATEMENT AGAINST
SeaTac success is due to location, not City/managers. Airport
parking slots run the engines. We need our city to run like a
business. If airlines and parking revenues are down then so will
ours. We are comfortable with a Chief Administrative Officer who
serves under an elected Mayor. Best of both worlds. CAO for daily
operations, an elected Mayor with a seat at the table where
decisions are made on our behalf. VOTE YES.
STATEMENT PREPARED BY: Frank Hughes, Tony Scoccolo,
SeaTac is one of the most successful cities in Washington and
it was incorporated with a Council-Manager form of government
for good reason. An identical proposal for change of government
was soundly defeated in 1996.
It is increasingly clear that the complexity of dealing with the
Airport, other cities, King County, and State and Federal laws and
regulatory agencies requires a professional City Manager, not a
politician Mayor. Our elected City Council competently makes
budget and policy decisions. The Council is able to search the
entire nation to hire the most qualified City Manager possible (the
Mayor must reside in the City). A City Manager who is appointed
by our Council is unlikely to have political obligations or abuse the
authority granted by the Council.
Without an elected Mayor during the past twelve years, our City
has been able to enjoy a balanced budget, quality Police and Fire
protection, a forward looking transportation plan which benefits us
all, and a great Park System. While doing this, we have reduced
the City portion of your property tax rate.
Please vote “NO” and retain our Council-Manager form of
|REBUTTAL OF STATEMENT FOR
More than 80% of this states Mayor-Council cities (182 of 226)
have populations less than 5000. Our City has 25,000 residents,
40,000 employees and 27,000,000 annual visitors. The interactions
of our City are very complex, and are best addressed by a
professional, non-political Administrator. During this time of economic
uncertainty it makes little sense to add the extra cost of a
full time elected Mayor when the system we have is working so
STATEMENT PREPARED BY: Don DeHan, Patricia Carter,
NOTE: The Division of Records and Elections is not authorized
to edit statements, nor is it responsible for their contents.
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