King wants voters to OK gov’t change

GLOVERSVILLE – Mayor Dayton King prefers the city initially study a “citywide councilman” form of government, rather than a city manager type of government, if it wants to change city government at all.

He also wants both ideas to eventually go to the voters via referendums.

On the agenda at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting at City Hall, King continued ongoing discussion about possible ways to change city government to make it more effective.

“I know we’ve been having some positive dialogue about different forms of government,” he said.

The mayor noted what’s already been talked about is a city manager government or a citywide councilman government.

In April, 1st Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth brought up changing the form of government from the mayor overseeing the day-to-day activities to having a city manager replace the mayor and the commissioner of finance. She invited Jerry Faiella, executive director of the New York State City/County Management Association, to attend the council meeting at 6 p.m. June 24 at City Hall to answer any questions department heads or elected officials may have about a city manager form of government.

King introduced an idea to eliminate the ward restrictions within the council and have open citywide elections for all the seats on the council.

The current system of ward elections gives one resident from each ward the opportunity to be on the council.

King said the change would allow multiple people from a particular ward to lead the city as members of the council. Under his plan, he said, the top three vote recipients would win four-year terms on the council and the fourth-, fifth- and sixth- highest vote getters would win two-year terms.

King told the council Tuesday that if city officials prefer to prioritize, he personally would like to “concentrate” on the possible citywide councilman form of government, and review the city manager option afterwards. He said he would like to see each idea eventually go to a voter referendum so the public can decide.

“We would ask you to evaluate your position,” the mayor told the council.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.