Election Referendum: Forms of Government

Posted by Marvin Clerk Tuesday, October 13, 2020 12:49:00 PM
From the Office of the Village of Marvin Administrator

Election Referendum:
Forms of Government

Q: What are the differences between a Mayor-Council and Manager-Council Form of Government? 
A: In the Mayor-Council form of government, the governing board is responsible for both policy making and day-to-day administration.  In the Council-Manager form, the governing board is responsible for policy making while the manager is responsible for implementing such policies through day-to-day administration.  One major difference involves personnel. In a Mayor-Council form, the Village Council has the power to hire and fire employees.  In the Manager-Council form, the manager has the power to hire and fire employees.  According to the North Carolina League of Municipalities and the UNC School of Government (both professional governmental organizations), the following bullet points are general considerations for both:

Mayor-Council form (the Village’s current form)
  • Generally, these forms of government are for smaller organizations where the Mayor is typically used to carry out day to day tasks because there are very few services, staff, or citizens. All staff in this form work directly for the council (not the person that is monitoring their day to day activities). This system can result in high turnover during election years.
Manager-Council Form of Government (proposed form on the ballot)
  • A professional/educated manager, often with more relevant training and experience compared to a Mayor, is selected by the elected body and is responsible for daily operations including oversight of all employees. This supervision generally allows more clear direction and efficient operations. This form is common in municipalities over 5,000 in population. The Manager is usually a member of a highly ethical association such as the International City/County Managers Association and are bound and monitored by a strict code of ethics.
Q: Would the Village have to hire a new "manager" if the form of government changes?
A:  No, the current Administrator's title would change from Village Administrator to Village Manager.

Q: How common is the Council-Manager form of government in North Carolina?
A: Very common! Over 88% of municipalities in NC with a population size of 5,000-10,000, which is comparable to the Village of Marvin (population 7,200), have a Manager-Council form.
Marvin is one of only seven municipalities in NC within this population range that still have the Mayor-Council form.
Source: Nelson, Kimberly. 2020. “NC Cities 5000 to 10K.” UNC School of Government. www.sog.unc.edu
Sample Ballot
This decision will be before residents of the Village of Marvin on the November 3, 2020 general election ballot. The ballot question will be similar to the following:
Shall the ordinance changing the Village of Marvin form of government from a Mayor-Council to a Council-Manager be approved?
____ No
For more information, please contact:
Christina Amos
Village Administrator
Phone: 704-843-1680 ext. 101
Email the Village Administrator