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Two types of municipal government

The Mayor–Council government system, sometimes called the Mayor–Commission government system, is one of the most common forms of local government used for the most part in modern representative municipal governments in the United States. It is also used in some other countries. The MayorCouncil variant can be broken down into two main variations depending on the relationship between the legislative and executive branches.

Contents

Weak-mayor, or ceremonial, form

In the weak-mayor form of the mayor–council government, the council possesses both legislative and executive authority. The council may appoint officials and must approve of mayoral nominations. The council also exercises primary control over the municipal budget.

The mayor, though elected, has little real political power and less independence under this form, serves largely ceremonial duties, and may even be a member of the council.

Charles Adrian and Charles Press explain, "The weak-mayor plan is a product of Jacksonian democracy. It comes from the belief that if politicians have few powers and many checks, then they can do relatively little damage."

This form of government is most commonly used in small towns in the USA. It is a variant of the city commission government.

In the Indian sub-continent the British Government introduced a weak mayor system with a provincial government—appointed commissioner in the municipal corporations as the executive functionary who had the same power of a district officer vis-a-vis other local authorities.

Strong-mayor, or executive, form

The strong-mayor form of mayor–council government consists of a popularly elected executive branch and a legislative branch, usually a city mayor and unicameral city council respectively.[1]

In the strong-mayor form the mayor is given almost total administrative authority and a clear, wide range of political independence, with the power to appoint and dismiss department heads without council approval and little public input. In this system, the strong mayor prepares and administers the city budget, although that budget often must be approved by the city council. In some strong-mayor governments, the mayor will appoint a chief administrative officer, or CAO, who will supervise department heads, prepare the budget, and coordinate departments. This CAO, sometimes also called a city manager, is responsible only to the mayor. Most major American cities use the strong-mayor form of the mayor–council system.[2]

Pakistan after its devolution plan has had a variant of the strong mayor system since 2001. In India, West Bengal has introduced a cabinet-type system of executive, called Mayor/Chairperson-in-Council, in its local governments during 1980–1991, that resembles the Strong Mayor system, except that the mayor can be removed through a vote of no-confidence by the elected Council.

See also

References

  1. ^ Kathy Hayes, Semoon Chang (July 1990). "The Relative Efficiency of City Manager and Mayor–Council Forms of Government". Southern Economic Journal 57 (1): 167. doi:10.2307/1060487. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0038-4038%28199007%2957%3A1%3C167%3ATREOCM%3E2.0.CO%3B2-%23&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage.  
  2. ^ Edwards III, George C.; Robert L. Lineberry; and Martin P. Wattenberg (2006). Government in America. Pearson Education. pp. 677–678. ISBN 0321292367.  
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The Mayor-Council government system, sometimes called the Mayor-Commission government system, is one of two variations of government used for the most part in modern representative municipal governments in the United States. It is also used in some other countries. The Mayor-Council variant can be broken down into two main variations depending on the relationship between the legislative and executive branches.

Contents

Weak-mayor, or ceremonial, form

In the weak-mayor form of the mayor-council government, the council possesses both legislative and executive authority. The council may appoint officials and must approve of mayoral nominations. The council also exercises primary control over the municipal budget.

The mayor, though elected, has little real political power and less independence under this form, serves largely ceremonial duties, and may even be a member of the council.

Charles Adrian and Charles Press explain, "The weak-mayor plan is a product of Jacksonian democracy. It comes from the belief that if politicians have few powers and many checks, then they can do relatively little damage."

This form of government is most commonly used in small towns in the USA. It is a variant of the city commission government.

In the Indian sub-continent the British Government introduced a weak mayor system with a provincial government-appointed commissioner in the municipal corporations as the executive functionary who had the same power of a district officer vis-a-vis other local authorities.

Strong-mayor, or executive, form

The strong-mayor form of mayor-council government consists of a popularly elected executive branch and a legislative branch, usually a city mayor and unicameral city council respectively.[1] In the strong-mayor form the mayor is given almost total administrative authority and a clear, wide range of political independence, with the power to appoint and dismiss department heads without council approval and little public input. In this system, the strong mayor prepares and administers the city budget, although that budget often must be approved by the city council. In some strong-mayor governments, the mayor will appoint a chief administrative officer, or CAO, who will supervise department heads, prepare the budget, and coordinate departments. This CAO, sometimes also called a city manager, is responsible only to the mayor. Most major American cities use the strong-mayor form of the mayor-council system.[2]

Pakistan after its devolution plan has had a variant of the strong mayor system since 2001. In India, West Bengal has introduced a cabinet-type system of executive, called Mayor/Chairperson-in-Council, in its local governments during 1980-91, that resembles the Strong Mayor system, except that the mayor can be removed through a vote of no-confidence by the elected Council.

See also

References

  1. ^ Kathy Hayes, Semoon Chang (July 1990). "The Relative Efficiency of City Manager and Mayor-Council Forms of Government". Southern Economic Journal 57 (1): 167. doi:10.2307/1060487. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0038-4038%28199007%2957%3A1%3C167%3ATREOCM%3E2.0.CO%3B2-%23&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage. 
  2. ^ Edwards III, George C.; Robert L. Lineberry; and Martin P. Wattenberg (2006). Government in America. Pearson Education. pp. 677–678. ISBN 0321292367. 


Simple English

The Mayor-Council government system, sometimes called the Mayor-Commission government system, is one of two variations of government most commonly used in modern representative municipal governments in the United States.


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