theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

Editorials

July 10, 2013

Local politics affects us more than any other

Ada —

Which of the following issues is Ada City Council not involved in: Placement of a new firehouse? Maintaining clean and affordable water? Attracting new businesses to town in order to create jobs? Selecting a waste management company? In fact, Ada City Council has a hand in all of these issues. Policy set by city council affects every one of us every single day. In fact, local politics may shape our lives more directly than policy made at the state or federal level. Being a member of the city council – including the mayor – is complicated, difficult, beset by conflict, and, perhaps most surprising of all, completely unpaid.

Ada City Council represents the “council-manager” form of government described in Oklahoma Statutes and it is one of several ways a city government can operate. Basically, it is a “weak mayor” or “city manager” style where city council makes policy decisions and the city manager carries them out. One of the most important things a city council can do is select a city manager. If you compare this form of government to the federal level, city council is like Congress and the city manager is like the president or head of the executive branch. City councilors serve for a term of two years, and the city manager serves at the pleasure of the council. The current city manager is Cody Holcomb who formerly served as the city engineer.

The mayor is actually a member of the council and is selected by the council and not the public. According to Oklahoma Statue, he or she is the ceremonial head of the city government and the mayor lacks special executive powers. Basically the role consists of running city council meetings and being more visible to the public. The current mayor is Greg McCortney, a local business owner.

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