The City of Tucson

The Tucson Charter Change Coalition (TC3)

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Recommendation: Create mayoral parity.

Good city government requires a mayor who can lead by virtue of his position as the city’s CEO. However, on key personnel decisions, Tucson’s charter gives the mayor even less authority than an individual council member. For instance, while the mayor participates in the appointment of the city manager, attorney, clerk, finance director, police chief, fire chief and magistrates, the charter prohibits the mayor from voting on the firings of the people in any of these positions. Significant, too, the mayor does not count toward meeting quorum requirements.

Possible action

Change the charter to give the mayor an equal vote with council members, and allow the mayor to count toward meeting quorum requirements. Coupled with the mayor’s other responsibilities in the charter, this will create a stronger mayor, more capable of leading the council and the city.

Consider also a provision similar to that in Phoenix, which gives the mayor control over the agenda. It says: The agenda shall be set by the Mayor, provided that an item may be placed on the agenda upon the written request of four Council members.

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