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Mayor, council square off

By Staff
With questions about the future of city employees swirling around them, the Madison City Council and Mayor Jan Wells met recently to discuss another job change: hers.
The council and Wells recently met face-to-face to discuss the topic of hiring a city manager.
The issue has been debated for years, but was brought to a head during a recent city council work session as a result of growing frustrations over incomplete city rojects.
"We're over a $14 million corporation. I think it's (hiring an administrator) is good business," City Councilman Ray Stubblefield said.
Councilman David Buschmann said he was in favor of the city manager concept if more things can get done, but he stood behind Mayor Jan Wells.
"I support you as the mayor," he said. "I'm behind you 100 percent."
Other council members said they had not yet made their minds up on the administrator issue.
"I lean on the senior members (for leadership)," Larry Vannoy said. "We need to roll up our sleeves and compromise."
Currently, it is the mayor's job to run the city on a day-to-day basis. By adding a city administrator or city manager, some of the mayor's responsibility would shift to that position. The mayor said she had seen a draft ordinance and the city administrator reports to nobody.
"It all breaks down to where the power lies. I have many questions," Wells said.
Councilman Marc Jacobson said the city has three options: change the form of government by public vote such that the mayor becomes a council member and a city manager is hired to run the city on a day-to-day basis; hire a city manager and invoke a state statue that specifies duties to be carried out by the city manager; or pass a local ordinance that assigns city manager duties, per city council discretion.
"It all has to do with efficiency," Jacobson said.

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