Role Of Elected Officials In Local Government – Government can be confusing. Use this guide to see how our government is structured so you know exactly where your vote is going.

Democratic governance can be scary – especially at the local level. Knowing and researching your representatives, where to vote and who to vote for takes a lot of time.

Role Of Elected Officials In Local Government

To make it a little less confusing, we’ve visualized local government in Wichita so we can understand how it works and who it trusts with what when we vote.

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That’s how it usually works in Wichita and many other city governments. We vote for elected officials, including the mayor and City Council members, and they hire a city manager to run the city day-to-day.

This mayor-city manager setup means we have a “weak” mayor, or one who has less power than, say, Chicago or New York. Rather than being the city’s chief administrator, our mayor is more of a seventh-member council elected by the entire city rather than by district.

Our City Council members can make important decisions, including voting on the city budget and creating new ordinances and laws, based on recommendations made by the city manager and other city staff to our elected officials at public meetings.

What’s more, you can see how much the city manager controls, from parks to police to the airport.

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County government functions very similarly, but with more elected officials performing county government duties. The red dots are those who work under the county system of government but are still elected officials.

While the city and county control completely different parts of the county—both functionally and geographically—there is a lot of overlap in Wichita simply because the city takes up so much of Sedgwick County. This chart shows how much of Sedgwick County’s population actually lives in Wichita. The population was estimated as of 2015 by the US Census Bureau.

Because of this overlap, the county and city have agreed to co-fund various initiatives and programs, including the Housing Assistance Program. They also co-chair the City Planning Commission, which is comprised of citizens from across the county appointed by elected officials from the city and county.

The Wichita School District also operates in a representative format, with school board members elected by the public. These members then hire a superintendent to oversee the day-to-day operations of the district.

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While school board members have separate districts that vaguely follow those for the City Council, every district resident has the opportunity to vote for school board members in the general election.

So who is eligible to vote for whom? And who do the elect represent? Here is a district map showing which council members represent each district. The mayor is an at-large member of the council, meaning he or she represents the entire city and can vote for everyone.

In the district, the commissioners represent a larger but more rural district, including smaller cities such as Hayesville, Bel Air and Goddard.

Now that we know who we are voting for and what they are doing, let’s see how the decision can be made. For this example, we’re using the city budget, which is probably one of the most important decisions city officials make each year.

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First, the city goes through public budget hearings to review the service levels of individual departments and the costs of providing those services. After all departments have had a chance to justify their funding requests, the proposals are presented to the public for feedback and input, and then the city manager and city staff put together a budget proposal. The city council then votes on this budget and decides on the allocation of funds to each department for the following year. At this point, it is also decided whether taxes should be increased, decreased, or left unchanged.

The county process is similar but with different implications because the county budget is what sets property taxes for everyone in Sedgwick County. These taxes are based on total budget needs compared to property values ​​assessed by the assessor.

Many people blame the assessor when their taxes go up, but the assessor only calculates the value of a person’s property, not the tax they pay. The actual tax rate depends on the county budget and the mill tax. One mill equals $1 per $1,000 of assessed property value. So even though the assessor calculates the value of your property, the amount of mills is what really affects your tax.

Learning about how our government works is an important step toward becoming more informed and active citizens—and understanding why it’s so important to show up on Election Day.

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As more people become informed and exercise their rights at the ballot box, we can find a better way forward for Wichita and surrounding communities by addressing four challenges in the public sector and beyond.

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There’s a lot to learn when you start working in local government — and we’re here to help!

The Minnesota League of Cities has developed 11 competencies that represent essential knowledge, skills and abilities or other characteristics that help elected officials succeed. Ten of these competencies come from leading through values, vision, or action (shown in the image to the right—click to enlarge—or open the competency overview here). The links below will take you to key people, online resources and training opportunities for each of these core competencies.

Local Government Crossword

Working to create an environment that is respectful, open and welcoming to different ideas, backgrounds and talents. Working to create fair policies and practices.

Developing a vision; identifying the priorities and resources needed to achieve this vision. Investigate all factors affecting the problem and take informed action.

Work with others to create and implement policies that achieve common goals and advance your city’s mission.

When you lead with the values, vision, and actions of the 10 competencies above, you’ll develop a servant leadership mindset and find it easy to put the needs of your city, staff, and community first.

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Research and Information Services team members are ready to help you apply their extensive knowledge to the problems you face today. The City of Ogden has been governed by a mayor-council form of government since 1992. This means there is a full-time mayor and sometimes a City Council. The Mayor has administrative and executive responsibility, and the City Council has legislative responsibility.

Modeled after both state and United States governments, the mayoral council form of government has certain checks and balances. For example, the Mayor must obtain the approval of a majority of the Council for important appointments, such as selecting a department director or nominating a new member to a majority of commissions, boards and committees. The Mayor can veto the actions of the Council. When the council passes an ordinance, the mayor can agree or disagree and veto the action. If the mayor agrees, the proposal becomes law. If the mayor imposes a veto, the procedure must be explained to the Municipal Council within 15 days. If the Council is deemed justified in its initial action, it can override the Mayor’s veto by a two-thirds majority (five of seven members).

Municipal Cities Utah’s largest cities share the same form of government (Salt Lake City, Provo, Ogden, Logan, Sandy, and Murray). This form of government is not required by state law and can only be elected by popular vote.

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Ogden’s rich history includes three other forms of government. From 1851 to 1912, Ogden was governed by a city council consisting of a mayor, four aldermen, and nine aldermen. In 1912, the form of government was changed to a three-member commission. In 1951, the citizens adopted the Council-City Administrator form of government with seven council members appointing the City Administrator.

Organizational Relationships The City of Ogden, Weber County, and the Ogden School District are separate, cooperative legal entities, each with specific responsibilities. The chart below shows the divisions, responsibilities and relationships of the entities. The League of Women Voters of Portland bases its support for Portland Charter Reform on our balanced in-depth studies of Portland’s governance and election methods. After reading and discussing these studies, our members adopted the advocacy positions we used to evaluate the charter reforms approved by voters in 2022. We concluded that the reforms would significantly improve governance and elections in Portland. They will make our governance more effective, accountable and representative. Our elections will be fairer and allow more voters to elect councilors who represent their interests. Below are the details of our top ten reasons.

3. Management by a professional city administrator, under the supervision of the mayor, will improve the performance of city offices and bureaus.

4. In ranked choice voting, voters have more

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