Proposition 1 would take away checks and balances on Black Diamond City Council | Letter
October 12, 2012 · Updated 10:42 AM
The citizens of Black Diamond will soon vote on Proposition 1, which would change our form of city government. I have long supported a strong mayor-city council form of government.
Let me explain why.
I believe in a division of power between the branches of government. I believe in checks and balances. I believe in our founding father's view of government: that the passions of the moment must be checked to allow time to properly test new ideas.
On a Federal level we have a House of Representatives which checks the Senate who together balance the President, all of whom are kept under the watchful eye of the Supreme Court. We also have balance in our Federal / State system, where some functions of government are best handled at a national level, while others deserve a local approach.
On a municipal level, I support a similar system of checks and balances with divided branches of government. If the pendulum swings too far one way, a council is an effective check on a mayor.
Should the pendulum veer another way, a Mayor is an effective check on the council. My opposition to a council - city manager form of government stems from my view of human nature. In time, we will end up with an unelected bureaucrat answerable to five council bosses. I would rather have an elected Mayor answerable to the full electorate.
I contend that a mayor-city council form of government is the more conservative form of government, and therefore more likely to balance the passions of the moment. This is a long-term and balanced approach to governing a city, no matter how one feels on the issues of the day. Please join me in voting no so we can retain our right to elect our own mayor.