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Citizens advocate manager for city in Dixon

Voters have choice on November ballot

Published: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 9:46 a.m. CDT

DIXON – A citizen-led committee is mounting a campaign to push for a change in Dixon’s government, ahead of November’s election.

The Committee to Change City Government had a news conference Monday morning on the steps of City Hall.

In January 2013, Mayor Jim Burke named seven residents to a task force that was given the job of evaluating the city’s form of government. In August, its members recommended the City Council let residents decide whether to keep the commission form of government or change to the managerial form.

In November, the City Council hired David Nord as Dixon’s first city administrator.

Marilyn Coffey, who was a member of the task force, is chairwoman of the new committee.

“It is our belief that the complexities of the modern municipal government require that a city like Dixon have professional management of the day-to-day operations under the supervision and ultimate authority of an elected mayor and council members,” she said Monday.

In the commission form of government, elected officials have executive and policymaking authority.

A change to the managerial form would give executive authority to a city manager, while the elected officials would retain policymaking authority, among other nuances.

According to its website, www.yesfordixon.org:

“Adopting the city manager form of government will bring nonpolitical professional management to Dixon’s vital departments, allow the council to focus on policy and budget oversight, and considerably expand the pool of potential future commissioners.”

Other Committee to Change City Government founders are Doug Lee, Jim Dixon, Mike Venier and Peter Shaw.

The committee will have a public meeting June 17 to discuss the two forms of government with interested residents.

More campaign efforts leading up to the Nov. 4 election, when the question will be put to a vote, will include speaking to local groups and going door to door to make the pitch for a change in government, Coffey said.

To attend

The Committee to Change City Government, which is advocating for Dixon residents to vote for a switch to a managerial form of government, will have a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 17, at Loveland Community House, 513 W. Second St.

Attendees will be able to ask questions and sign up to volunteer with the campaign.

Go to www.yesfordixon.org for more information.

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