As a member of the Sikeston City Council and also a member of the Charter Commission, there are a few things about the flyer that was sent out regarding the charter that bother me.
It appears, from the City of Sikeston letterhead and logo, that the City Council endorses the charter. However, this is not true. The City Council members are as divided as the Charter Commission members are by several issues. The one thing we all agree on and support is "Alternative B," which states that the mayor will be selected by the City Council. The flyer neglects to state that Alternative A, which is the mayor shall be elected by popular vote, is for a three-year term. That is too long.
From having served on the council for the last three years and knowing that our present mayor Jerry Pullen is looking forward to relinquishing the title, I feel that a three-year term of running the meetings, serving on all of the committees, taking all of the telephone calls, hearing about how you as one of the "good old boys" are lying and cheating and stealing down at city hall, being there to have the pictures and cutting ribbons while actually having no more authority that the other council members is way too long.
We have a professional staff that runs our city, they do a good job of it. The title and duties of mayor are placed on a councilman that has served his time, that the other council members are comfortable with and that they trust will do a good job.
Having served a three-year term as councilman, I am running for re-election this term. If re-elected, I will probably get the honor of serving as your mayor. Next year, if he chooses to run again, and is re-elected, Mike Marshall will probably have that honor. In 2004, if he chooses to run and is re-elected Michael Harris will probably be elected from his fellow councilmen to serve as mayor. He will have served his time, earned the trust and respect of his fellow councilmen and after a year of being mayor, he will probably be just as grateful to turn the job over to the next councilman in line that has earned the trust and respect of his fellow councilmen.
I am afraid that a three-year elected mayor will somehow feel that he has gained more power than he actually has. I urge you to vote for "Alternative B" mayor selected by city council.