I have been wondering of late if our weak mayor and strong city manager form of government is most often less effective then a more traditional strong mayor system (no city manager). If we look at the advances the city has made in the last few years, it seems like having a full time mayor produces better results then we have had under the city manager. If we look at the city's results over 40 years before, it is certain the city has fallen behind where it should be.
Maybe it is having the mayor working 40+ hours a week, instead of working 15? Maybe the city manager's position removes him from the will of the people and turns that roll into a servant for the city council members, so results don't matter much? Maybe Carbondale has just been unlucky, time after time?
It is hard to believe that any city could do as poorly as Carbondale has done, given the gifts of SIU, the regional hospital and medical, and the regional mall, unless it was programmed to have poor results.
What do you think, should Carbondale change over to a strong mayor system? It is a great time to think about it, the city manager might well retire in a few years.