City of SeaTac, Washington (pop. 26,909)
Successful retention effort in November 2011; $500 Fund contribution
After narrowly retaining council-manager in November 2009 by nine votes, SeaTac voters again faced an attempt to change the City’s form of government two years later on November 8, 2011. This time, voters retained the council-manager form by a larger margin of 2,111 (54%) in favor of retention versus 1,817 (46%) in favor of adopting the mayor-council form. As in 2009, ICMA again worked with the council-manager advocacy group No SeaTac Prop One and provided the group with a contribution from the ICMA Fund for Professional Management.
City of Portsmouth, Ohio (pop. 20,226)
Successful adoption effort in November 2011; $1,500 Fund contribution
Voters in Portsmouth returned the City back to council-manager government when they adopted a charter amendment on November 8 following 30 years of operating under the mayor-council form. The final tally was 2,208 (51%) for council-manager government and 2,138 (49%) against it. ICMA and the Ohio City/County Management Association assisted the council-manager advocacy group Committee for Better Government Management by providing educational materials and guidance on the development of the charter amendment text. ICMA also contributed financial support to Committee from the Fund for Professional Management to aid the group in mailing 4,000 educational postcards. The new government will take effect in January 2014.
City of Lynwood, Washington (pop. 35,836)
Unsuccessful adoption effort in November 2011; $4,700 Fund contribution
Voters in the City of Lynnwood, located less than 20 miles north of Seattle, rejected a proposal to switch from mayor-council to council-manager government by a margin of 3,128 (44%) in favor of adopting council-manager government and 4,005 (56%) against it. People for a Better Lynnwood spearheaded the proposed change and ICMA provided financial support to the group from the ICMA Fund for Professional Management.
City of Ketchum, Idaho (pop. 2,689)
Unsuccessful adoption effort in November 2011; $2,800 Fund contribution
Idaho state law stipulates that when a proposal to change a city’s form of government from mayor-council to council-manager appears on the ballot, that same ballot must also include a proposal to elect an entirely new council that would serve under the new form. This interesting situation may explain why on November 8, citizens in Ketchum voted to reject a proposed change to council-manager government by a margin of 582 (59%) against to 440 (43%) for adoption. ICMA provided the pro council-manager citizens’ group Ketchum Committee for Better Government with educational materials and guidance throughout its campaign. Idaho City/County Management Association President Ben Marchant spoke on behalf of council-manager government during two public forums. ICMA also made a financial contribution to Ketchum Committee through the Fund for Professional Management.
City of LaCrosse, Wisconsin (pop. 51, 320)
Unsuccessful effort to create city administrator position in April 2012; $5,000 Fund contribution
Despite the proponent’s belief that such a position might reduce the City’s tax rate, the highest among similar-sized Wisconsin municipalities, La Crosse voters rejected a proposal to create the position of city administrator on April 3. Election results show that 5,937 (60%) voters opposed the position whereas 3,934 (40%) favored it. ICMA worked closely with the proponent citizens’ group Administrator Yes. ICMA members Steve O’Malley, Ed Henschel, and Karl Nollenberger played instrumental roles in advocating professional management at several public informational forums.