Saturday, Oct. 12, 2007 | Rather than add more Council districts and council members, why not add staff to the existing Council districts based on a ratio of population in each district? It would be less costly and not add more obstacles among the council members.

I have longed fear our fair city will drift to the forms of government in cities like Chicago, Detroit and New York. Their governmental process looks more like the U.S. Congress, where political interests are the guiding force rather than what is in the best interest of the citizens.

I agree with Professor Steve Erie that changes submitted by the committee would give the mayor more power. We don’t need that type of more centralized control. Our City Council members are hard-working professionals and have deeply committed staff members who typically are more accessible to the public than the mayor’s staff. I worked directly under many mayors and councils and I believe that the public interest is better served by maintaining independence from the mayor and his or her staff. Objective decisions are vital and need to be made without fear of political repercussions. Perhaps we need to look again at a managerial/council form of local government.

Chuck Abdelnour is the former city clerk for the city of San Diego.

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