Charlottesville Considering 'Strong Mayor' Government

Posted: Updated:
Charlottesville City Council (FILE IMAGE) Charlottesville City Council (FILE IMAGE)
Mayor Nikuyah Walker and former-Mayor Mike Signer (FILE IMAGE) Mayor Nikuyah Walker and former-Mayor Mike Signer (FILE IMAGE)
David RePass David RePass

Charlottesville is considering a switch that would lead to voters electing the city’s mayor.

Under the current system, the five members of City Council decide which one of them will be mayor. The mayor has the same voting power as other councilors, but has a few additional administrative responsibilities, like setting the meeting agenda.

An elected mayor would have more power with administrative matters throughout Charlottesville, and would establish separation between an elected executive and a legislative body.

Political activist David RePass says changing to a publically-elected mayor would result in increased accountability for city officials.

“The city manager is not responsible to the public, so nothing gets done. There's probably thousands of people that have had the experience of being ignored by city government," RePass said.

Others say benefits of the switch could be increased voter turnout, governmental coordination and democratic responsiveness.

Opponents have said this form of government could potentially lead to corruption.

The change is just in the talking stage, with no firm dates for action, and would require public input.

Charlottesville City Council is expected to look into a “strong mayor” government system during its meeting on Monday, July 16.