On April 4th, voters in the Town of Framingham will consider changing the town’s current structure of government to the mayor-council (“strong-mayor”) form. Under this form of government, all executive authority is centralized under the mayor and not shared by the council.
We encourage Framingham residents to instead consider adoption of the town council-manager form. Under the town council-manager form, the mayor serves as the political leader and “face” of the community and executive authority and policy making is shared between the mayor and council. A highly trained, nonpartisan, experienced manager oversees the day-to-day operations and that manager’s appointment is based on his or her professional experience, managerial qualifications, and education.
Professional local government managers who are members of ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, are also bound by a strictly enforced Code of Ethics that governs both their professional and personal lives. The Code was established in 1924 and ensures the integrity of city, town, and county managers.
Today more than 105 million people in the U.S. live in municipalities that operate under the town council-manager form, including such regional successes as Franklin (pop. 32,065); Watertown (pop. 32,996); Cambridge (pop. 107,289); Worcester (pop. 182,544); and Lowell (pop. 108,861).
Framingham needs both the strong political leadership of an elected governing body combined with the effective, day-to-day oversight of a strong city manager. Adopting the town council-manager form of government rather than switching to the mayor-council form is the best strategy for ensuring Framingham’s ongoing success.
Westborough Town Manager Jim Malloy, Northeast Regional Vice President, ICMA
Marshfield Town Administrator Rocco Longo, President of Massachusetts Municipal Management Association