City of Madison, Wisconsin | Legislative Information Center
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File #: 47707    Version: Name: Creating a special task force on city governance to examine the structure and powers of the Common Council and its committees and the structure and powers of the Mayor's office.
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 6/14/2017 In control: COMMON COUNCIL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
On agenda: 6/20/2017 Final action: 9/5/2017
Enactment date: 9/8/2017 Enactment #: RES-17-00714
Title: AMENDED 3rd SUBSTITUTE - Creating a special task force on city governance to examine and make recommendations on elected officials; the structure and powers of the Common Council and its committees and the structure and powers of the Mayor's office.
Sponsors: Rebecca Kemble, Denise DeMarb, Sara Eskrich
Attachments: 1. 47707 v 1.pdf, 2. 7/11/17 Eskrich Memo: Governance Task Force CCEC.pdf, 3. 7/18/17 Email_C Landsness.pdf, 4. 47707 v 2.pdf, 5. 47707 v 3.pdf, 6. 2nd Substitute Legislative File No. 47707_Clean Copy.pdf, 7. 47707 Memo D 18.pdf, 8. Amendments to 47707 2nd Substitute D 18_15.pdf, 9. 47707 Version 4.pdf

Fiscal Note

The proposed resolution authorizes the creation of a Task Force to examine the City of Madison’s governance structure. The work of the Task Force will culminate with their recommendations by December 31st, 2018. Operating costs associated with the Task Force are anticipated to be $30,000; these costs may include public engagement, language interpretation and translation, facilities rental and any other research-related costs. Funding for these costs are subject to appropriation in the 2018 Operating Budget.

Title

AMENDED 3rd SUBSTITUTE - Creating a special task force on city governance to examine and make recommendations on elected officials; the structure and powers of the Common Council and its committees and the structure and powers of the Mayor's office.

 

Body

WHEREAS, increases in the size and diversity of Madison’s population over the past three decades have brought new challenges and opportunities for the City; and,

 

WHEREAS, the City of Madison places a high value on democratic civic engagement with a long tradition of resident participation in City government through its committees, commissions, and boards as well as planning councils, neighborhood and business associations; and,

 

WHEREAS, the City of Madison has made a commitment to and has invested resources in the Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative, which aims to eliminate racial and social inequities in municipal government; and,

 

WHEREAS, the City of Madison has not had a formal committee to examine and report on the best structure of City government since the 1980’s when the population of Madison was much lower and less diverse; and,

 

WHEREAS, the impending challenges of legislative redistricting based on the upcoming 2020 census and the annexation of the Town of Madison in 2022 provide further impetus to review the structure of City government,

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Common Council create a Task Force on Structure of City Government with a total of 11 12 eleven (11) members. , made up of Five (5)members, including two (2) Council members, are to be appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Common Council, five (5) members, including two (2) Common Council members, are to be appointed by the President of the Common Council, to include 2 Council members and confirmed by the Common Council, and a Chair is to be jointly appointed by the Mayor and the President of the Common Council. All appointments are subject to confirmation and confirmed by the Common Council, and the Mayor or a Deputy Mayor as an ex-officio, non-voting member; and,

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Task Force appointments, as much as practicable, represent the City based on geographic interests, and reflect the ethnic and racial makeup of the population of the City as well as varying business, social, and economic viewpoints; and,

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Task Force be staffed by the City Attorney’s office with the assistance of other city staff as determined by the City Attorney’s office and the Council President; and,

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Task Force examine and report on the following issues, and such other relevant topics that become visible in the course of the review as they relate to our current form of governance and models for reform:

 

BE IT STILL FURTHER RESOLVED that the Task Force examine and report on the following issues and such relevant topics that become visible in the course of the review as they relate to our current form of governance and models for reform:

 

General:

• The state statutes that impact the operation of local government, as they may affect including the function of the charter, ordinances and rules for program operations;

• Governance models and practices of similar cities in the population range of 250,000-500,000 from states with similar statutory municipal requirements as Wisconsin and the efficacy of such models;

The ways in which equity and accountability factor into different governance models; Effects of governance models on efforts to increase racial equity and social justice;

Optimal methods Best practices for ensuring municipal decision makers are representative of, connected to and accountable to all members of the community;

• Other systems/methods for creating multiple avenues for resident participation in government without privileging decision-making based on the time and ability to attend meetings.

 

Common Council:

• The powers and duties of the Common Council;

• Powers of Council members to chair meetings of the Common Council, Finance Committee and other committees, commissions and boards;

• The attributes of councils with full-time members, part-time members, and those considered to be volunteer councils performing duties for a nominal salary or honorarium;

• Number of Council members and the impact on effective representation of residents in general and people of color and those living with lower incomes in particular, functionality of the body, and city governmental services;

• District vs. at large elections for Council members;

• Remuneration of Council members including a process for a change in pay;

• The size and cost of Council staff.

 

Mayor:

• The powers and duties of the mayor including the hiring and firing of department and division heads, veto, line item veto and emergency management powers;

• The size and cost of Mayoral staff;

Powers of the Mayor to chair meetings of the Common Council and Finance committee;

Powers of the Mayor to appoint members of the Common Council to Council committees;

Powers of the Mayor to appoint members to City Committees.

 

Committees, Commissions and Boards:

• The committee system, and the use of resident, Common Council and staff members;

• The scope and nature of the powers of committees, commissions and boards, including how they report to the Common Council and how their recommendations are received;

Powers to appoint Council members and residents to City committees, commissions and boards;

• The frequency and time of day of both Council and committee meetings.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Task Force shall hold public hearings, obtain written reports, and conduct research as the Task Force determines to be useful and necessary to prepare its report to the Mayor and the Common Council; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Task Force cooperate with the City’s RESJI Core Team to design and implement an innovative public input process to learn about residents’ perceptions of and experiences with governance in Madison, and their opinions about different structural options, including results in the final report; and,

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in addition to the public engagement process developed by the Task Force as described above, the Task Force intentionally seek input from the following stakeholder groups:

 

                     Members of the Effective Government Guidance Team;

                     Current and former Committee, Commission and Board members and Chairs;

                     Neighborhood Associations;

                     Current and former Alders;

                     Current and former Mayors.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the final report describe the impact on people of color and those living with lower incomes of any potential changes as well as the optimal opportunities for the timing of such changes; and,

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED funding for Task Force will be considered for inclusion in the 2018 Operating Budget; potential uses for this funding may include public engagement, language interpretation and translation, facilities rental and any other research-related costs; and,

 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Task Force dissolves upon the issuance of its recommendations on any potential structural changes to city government and the presentation of recommendations to the Mayor and Common Council by December 31, 2018.