The town government is responsible for providing public safety and maintaining the public roads. It must have a designated office where citizens interact, as needed. The town government does not need to control the fire department or utilities or school district. For public safety and road maintenance, the town may contract with private or other government entities. The town will need a Town Manager and Clerk to handle all of the day to day work. These positions are appointed by the Town Council and are paid positions.
The Town Council can be organized in different ways. The current proposal is for the government to be composed of 7 members including a Mayor and 6 council members. We are considering whether each member should be elected at large or be a representative of a more local district.
If the members were elected at large, there would be no districts. All 7 members would represent the entire town. In this case, it would make sense for the voters to elect 7 council members and then for the council members to elect one of them to be the mayor. This is the method used in Sahuarita. This is the simplest form of government but there is the risk that the council members could all come from the same area of the town leaving other areas of the town with less representation.
If the members were elected to represent districts, then, there would be 6 districts. Each district would elect one council member. Additionally, the mayor would be elected from the all of the voters of all districts. This is the method used in Tucson. This assures representation of all areas of the town but adds complexity to the town governance. Also, there tends to be issues with council members using their own pet projects as leverage on larger, more important issues.
There are also variations available affecting the power of the mayor. In many cities, the mayor is simply one vote on the town council and otherwise serves as the voice of the council. In some cities, the mayor is a separate office that does not vote with the town council and has the power to veto decisions made by the town council.
There are good and bad associated with all of the options. It is best if the decisions are made by a large body of people. All citizens that would like to participate are invited to make their willingness known by attending the monthly meetings held the 3rd Thursday of each month at the Rincon Fire Station #2 (off of Marsh Station Road) at 6:30pm and/or by contacting us.