What has the Commission done prior to making its recommendations?

Since it was formed in 2015, the Commission has spent the last year interviewing many former and current city employees, department heads, and elected officials in order to better understand how the City Charter affected their day to day work. From these interviews a clearer picture emerged on those issues contributed to administrative and legislative problems.

It was believed by many of those interviewed that some of these issues could be traced to ambiguities and lack of clarity found in the current City Charter. In addition to conducting in depth interviews, the Commission also, with financial assistance from the Dyson Foundation, engaged the Benjamin Institute at SUNY New Paltz to conduct a comprehensive review of municipal government throughout New York State. The Institute’s report helped provide a strong basis for comparing how similarly sized cities throughout the state are structured, giving the Commission a sense of what works in other small- to mid-sized cities.

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1. Why was the charter commission started? What was its goal?
2. What has the Commission done prior to making its recommendations?
3. Will the charter changes solve our problems?
4. What is a strong vs. weak mayor? What do we have right now?
5. What other forms did you consider?
6. How will the mayor’s role change under the proposed system?
7. Why make the mayor full-time?
8. Why create a ninth council member? What powers will they have?
9. Why make the ninth council member the presiding officer? Why not let the council people pick their own chair?
10. Isn’t it the Mayor’s job to represent all the wards? Why create another position?
11. What do you say to people who say the council chair will always from the 4th or 8th ward?
12. Won’t this cost us more money which we don’t have?
13. We want less government not more?