Columnist questions Mayor Harper’s need for his own office

By Barbara Zivica

Under the California Constitution, as in most states, there are two basic forms of city government. The “charter city” has a degree of self-determination and executive powers. Formed by the citizens by a specific charter, they are generally independent of the legislature and have direct control over local affairs. (There are a total of 477 cities in the state, 105 are chartered.)

Antioch is a general law city. General law cities are limited by existing law in the Government Code and acts of the legislature. While all cities have a technically nonpartisan elected city council, there are two basic forms of general law cities. Seventy five percent of cities, including Antioch, have a professional administrative head e.g. city manager, city administrator, who directs day to day operations and has executive powers, while the city council sets policy by ordinances, usually generated by staff.

There are also two types of mayoral forms: 1) The strong mayor system where the mayor acts as the executive head of government. The strong mayor system is most common in charter cities such as Oakland and San Francisco. 2) The “weak mayor” system where mayors can be appointed by council or elected. These mayors serve primarily as a figurehead. They often run the council meetings, but are otherwise equal to the council members. This is the type of mayor system Antioch has which is why

I’m wondering why newly elected, newly retired Mayor Wade Harper has decided he needs to move in and occupy an office at city hall.

From the looks of it, Harper may want to “micromanage” far more than Freitas did or else he doesn’t comprehend how limited a mayor is in a General Law City like Antioch.

2 Comments to “Columnist questions Mayor Harper’s need for his own office”

  1. karl says:

    well, while i was surprised that the 5 council members did not have an office, i would like to know about the cost to the tax payers to set up that office, and is there a secretary assigned?

    also, since the council members, incl. the mayor do not answer their emails, i think this is a great place to go to, address problems, and to get eventually answers.

  2. Michelle says:

    I think that the people working in the city offices need more guidance and see nothing wrong with the Mayor having his own office, to go to…for meetings, calls, etc. The way the city has been run has not and is not working for any of us either in office or out. So why not look into other options, change is good.

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