The Arkansas City Commission is considering a resolution that would amend the commission handbook to ensure that anyone chosen to be mayor would have a sufficient amount of experience.
The resolution — which was discussed at the commission’s regular meeting July 1 — would require the person chosen to be mayor to have served for at least a year on the commission.
“As of now, there are no rules as to how the mayor is appointed by city commission — it’s simply by a majority vote,” said city manager Nick Hernandez, who added that he hoped this would make the method of choosing a mayor more concrete.
The change would end the practice of the top vote-getter after each election assuming the role of mayor, unless that person already was serving on the commission.
The reason behind the proposal, according to the resolution, is “to ensure legislative familiarity and commission protocol.”
Audience member Gareth McGee expressed a concern: “The wording (of the resolution) needs to be proper, so it’s not perceived as taking away power from the public.” Commissioner Jean Snell cautioned that if the resolution were passed immediately, the public might be angry. Commissioners tabled the resolution until the next meeting so that the public has a chance to respond.
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