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Local

Sterling city manager to speak

Task force to hear about city manager government

DIXON – Next on the list for the governmental task force, charged with examining the city's form of government, is a look Wednesday at the city manager form.

Sterling City Manager Scott Shumard is scheduled to speak before the seven-member committee.

The panel had a teleconference with East Peoria officials about the commission form of government with an administrator, and is scheduled to speak June 26 to officials from Rochelle, a city manager form, and Ottawa, a commission form.

Shumard, Wednesday's guest, has attributed the Rita Crundwell scandal, in which Dixon's ex-comptroller stole more than $53 million, to its form of government.

He told Sauk Valley Media in February "local government administration has become so much more technical than what it was before." The size of budgets has grown, and duties have become more complicated.

City managers are given their executive power by state statute, as opposed to administrators, who are granted executive power by ordinance from a city council.

To adopt the city manager form of government, a petition with a signature of one of every 10 Dixon residents who voted in the last mayoral election is needed to put a referendum on the November 2014 ballot.

A petition with a signature from 25 percent of residents who voted in the last mayoral elections is needed for a referendum on whether to abolish the commission form.

Panel members hope to make up their minds by August, then conduct open debate as they form a recommendation to the City Council.

To attend

The governmental task force will meet with Sterling City Manager Scott Shumard at 9 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 121 W. Second St.

Go to www.discoverdixon.org and click on "Citizen's Information Center," then "Governmental task force" for an agenda, or call 815-288-1485.

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