Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; (D&C 98:10)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How My City Government Works

My city councilman Todd Tande posted this in NextDoor.com. I am copying it here as a concise, common language, description of how my city government works. I am sure that we have an exceptional councilman.

I gather and post on social media, the factual information and/or additional factual clarifications of the information hoping that it will be helpful to citizens that want to be engaged. I try to include links to the source data so that those who are interested can research the issue being posted in more detail if they wish.  
There are many methods that residents contact me besides Nextdoor.com, and as with most all issues including this one, I receive both positive and negative responses as it would be highly unusual for everyone to have the exact same opinion. Even those who have the same general opinion often disagree on details of a solution. 
Due to Open Meeting Laws, I do not debate issues in a public forum such as this.
The Mayor and City Council Members must comply with the State of Arizona Open Meeting Laws. It would be inappropriate and perhaps illegal for me to share how I would vote on any upcoming issue. If you receive an e-mail from a member of City Council that expresses the member's opinion on an upcoming issue, you are also likely to see the following statement at the bottom of the email: -- 
" This e-mail is being transmitted to or by a member of the Surprise City Council. A recipient of this e-mail who wishes to retransmit this e-mail should be careful that the e-mail is not transmitted to a quorum of a public body upon which the recipient sits."  
I also saw many posts asking how our government works, so I will attempt to briefly clarify how our local government works here, so that you can better help me advocate your ideas. As a City Council Member, I am your representative. I also am the representative for those who disagree with you on any and all issues. I strive to not take sides of one person over another person. I strive to decide issues based upon the facts and goals of an issue. 
Surprise has a Council Manager form of government. The Mayor and City Council Members do not run the day to day operations of the City. This form of government came about in the early 1900's partially to attempt to limit political influence in favor of striving for excellence in operations, which should provide for better overall outcomes... you would not want your City Council Member to design, manage, or police a street for example, so instead, a City Manager is appointed by a vote of the entire City Council and the City Manager is responsible for day to day decisions including hiring a professionally educated and experienced staff that do run the day to day operations of the City.  
Here is just one of the rules that City Council must comply with:
Rule 9. Policy Role of Members
The Role of each Member, as an individual, is to represent the community and to share their ideas, recommendations, and point of view forward during consideration of matters before the body.
Members must respect and adhere to the Council‐Manager structure of the Surprise City government as outlined in City Code. In this structure, the City Council determines the policies of the City with the advice, information and analysis provided by the public, boards, commissions, committees and City staff.
Members therefore may not interfere with the administrative functions of the City or the professional duties of City staff; nor impair the ability of staff to implement Council policy decisions.  
I am looking forward to the meeting on Monday where we can hear a brief explanation about the purpose of the changes on Bullard, a few of the results the City staff are seeing, and mostly, for staff to hear from residents.  
I will also have a signup sheet for those of you that would like to attend District 6 meetings to discuss items and advise me prior to my voting on items at a City Council Meeting. I believe that it is very good thing for our residents to be engaged and interested in our City. You can also signup for the District 6 Newsletter and announcements by visiting our District 6 webpage below. 
Todd Tande
City Council Member - District 6

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