Residents in Superior could face a different form of government within the next year - depending on the actions taken up at the next City Council meeting.  Those actions could see the current mayoral position reduced to part time, while adding a full time City Administrator. At their meeting on Tuesday January 7, Councilor Dan Olsen plans to propose a resolution that the council put the decision to voters in the election booth.  

The action stems from the results of a study done by RW Management Group.  Along with a variety of other suggestions, the study concluded that Superior would benefit from reducing the mayor to a part time position, while adding a full time City Administrator to take up the remaining duties.  The research was initiated by the city at a cost of $44,000.

The results have been divisive - both internally and externally. Social media chat sites have seen a lot of discussion about the issue - both pro and con. Many argue that the move would cost the city more in the long run (i.e. even if the mayor's salary was reduced to match the new part time nature of the position (something that has not been mentioned), the city would see an additional salary to cover the new full time City Administrator; a brief salary search for positions in similarly-sized communities show that it can pay well in excess of $150,000 a year).

Current Superior Mayor Jim Paine has come out against the proposal:

"An elected mayor is accountable to the people … and they’re accountable in a few ways,” Paine said. “Not only do they get to choose the mayor after a months-long election and campaign process, they can remove that person if they don’t like the job that they’re doing in a bunch of different ways. We not only have the recall option and removal option, but also terms end. Every four years, the city gets to review how well a mayor is doing. That changes the way a mayor leads. That keeps the mayor accountable to the people, not to the staff, not to the overall administration.”

If the resolution passes at the meeting on January 7, the decision would be put to voters in Superior.  Passage there would still not guarantee any changes; the referendum would be an "advisory" to the City Council - which would have the final say.

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