Oct 5, 2010 5:11 PM by Jeannette Hynes

Strong mayor debate takes center stage

Colorado Springs ballot initiative 300 will ask voters to create a "strong mayor" form of government, where the mayor becomes a full-time position and a member of the executive branch.  It would also eliminate the city manager position.  Currently, the mayor is a part-time position and part of city council, the legislative branch.  The city manager is appointed by council and not elected.

The issue was part of a noon-time debate Tuesday at the Cheyenne Mountain Conference Resort in Colorado Springs.

"We think right now the system we have is just not working and to have an elected, accountable, executive mayor is a far better alternative," explains Andy McElhany, a supporter of the ballot measure and former State Senator.

"I think that some change is needed, but I don't think we need to do radical surgery on our charter anymore than we need to do radical surgery on our constitution," says Lorne Kramer, who served as police chief and city manager for Colorado Springs.

The group that calls itself Limited Government Forum sponsored today's debate.


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