Why create a ninth council member? What powers will they have?

Because there are eight wards in the City of Poughkeepsie, there is a need for a tie breaking ninth vote that can establish important legislative priorities and move city initiatives forward. While the Commission considered reducing the number of wards to 5 or 7 wards to create an odd number to address this structural problem but commission members felt the addition of a ninth member would be most acceptable and productive solution to elected officials and the public.

Because he/she would be elected by all city voters, the new at large Council member would serve as the Council Chairperson. They would be responsible for establishing the Common Council agenda by working with other council members, the mayor and the city administrator. They will also have the authority to establish committees which can focus on specific areas like finances and safety.

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1. Why was the charter commission started? What was its goal?
2. What has the Commission done prior to making its recommendations?
3. Will the charter changes solve our problems?
4. What is a strong vs. weak mayor? What do we have right now?
5. What other forms did you consider?
6. How will the mayor’s role change under the proposed system?
7. Why make the mayor full-time?
8. Why create a ninth council member? What powers will they have?
9. Why make the ninth council member the presiding officer? Why not let the council people pick their own chair?
10. Isn’t it the Mayor’s job to represent all the wards? Why create another position?
11. What do you say to people who say the council chair will always from the 4th or 8th ward?
12. Won’t this cost us more money which we don’t have?
13. We want less government not more?