Four local governments changed their forms of government during the spring and summer months of 2010.
Town Meeting Replaced by Council-Manager Form in Hanover
On May 9, residents in Hanover, Mass. (pop. 14,115) approved a ballot measure to adopt council-manager government by a vote of 960 to 559. Once the Massachusetts state legislature approves the measure, residents will have an opportunity to add two more selectman to the town governing body for a total of five members.
Thumbs Up to Council-Manager in Catoosa
By slim margin of 93 affirmative ballots cast on July 23, voters in Catoosa, Okla. (pop. 7,897) adopted the council-manager form of government by a margin of 490 to 397. The earliest any changes in government operations will take place is 2011, since the council members will be permitted to finish their current terms.
Belville Reverts to Mayor-Council Form
On August 23, town commissioners in Belville, North Carolina (pop. 1,301) voted 4 to 0 to adopt an ordinance changing the city charter from the current council-manager structure (which they had approved three years ago) to the mayor-council form. According to the mayor, the switch will save the town money, especially since the town does not provide fire, police, or recreational services. The amendment also created the position of town administrator.
Vestavia Hills, Alabama, Voters Approve Council-Manager
During an August 24 special election, Vestavia Hills, Ala. (pop. 31,121) residents voted to adopt the council-manager form of government and replace the current mayor-council form. Election results show that voters approved the measure 1,778 (61%) to 1,144 (39%). Council-manager operations, which will include a mayor and four council members elected at large, will be implemented the first Monday of November 2012. ICMA staff assisted the city by providing information and guidance to the mayor’s office shortly before the special election.