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Phone: 217/422-9702
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Decatur Tribune Online


Paul Osborne's



​​Central Park Fountain in Downtown Decatur



Macon County Sheriff's Office Reports Traffic Crash With Injuries On I-72

​    On Saturday, July 14, at approximately 7:15pm, the Macon County Sheriff’s Office received multiple calls regarding a traffic crash with injuries on I-72 eastbound at mile marker 148.  Those reporting the crash indicated a passenger car had collided with a motorcycle.
     The initial investigation indicated that a 46 year old male Danville resident was traveling eastbound in a 2000 Cadillac passenger car when he tried to merge into a group of eastbound motorcycles at the entrance to a construction zone.  While merging the Cadillac struck the rear tire of one of the motorcycles causing the rider to crash.  Once the driver of the Cadillac stopped his vehicle, other motorcyclist in the group approached the driver of the Cadillac and indicated they could tell the driver had been consuming alcoholic beverages and felt he was under the influence.  When the driver of the Cadillac got back into his car and was attempting to leave the scene, the other motorcyclists were able to get the keys away from the driver to prevent him from leaving prior to the arrival of deputies.
       The driver of the Cadillac was subsequently arrested for Aggravated D.U.I., D.U.I., felony Driving with a Revoked Driver’s License and several other traffic violations.  He was booked into the Macon County Jail where he will remain awaiting setting of bond by a judge on Monday.
      The injured driver of the motorcycle, a 76 year old Champaign resident, was subsequently transported to Decatur Memorial Hospital where he was being treated for some broken bones.  His injuries at this time are not believed to be life threatening. 

Mac on Sports
Anderson Falls in Finals

   Novak Djokovic won Sunday's Wimbledon tennis championship with his 6-2-, 6-2, 7-6 defeat of Kevin Anderson, who competed here in 2005 and 2006 in the USTA/Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic at Decatur's Fairview Park tennis complex.
   Anderson earned his finals berth with extended wins over Roger Federer and John Isner.
   This is the second time in less than a year that Anderson has lost a Grand Slam championship as he fell to Rafael Nadal in the U.S. Open last year.
   Anderson's success indicates why fans should come out later this month and early next to watch the quality tennis that is played each year at the USTA/Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic.

Osborne Online

Some Thoughts On A Hot Summer Day

Mac on Sports

Kevin Anderson Continues To Stun The Tennis World

   Kevin Anderson continued to stun the tennis world with his come-from-behind win over John Isner in the Wimbledon semi-finals Wednesday to advance to Sunday's finals.
   Anderson this morning/afternoon (Friday) defeated John Isner in the longest semi-final match in Wimbledon history.
   He won 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24.
   The match took six hours and 35 minutes, surpassing the previous record of four hours, 44 minutes when the score was tied at 9 in the deciding set.
   Chuck Kuhle, who runs the USTA/Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic each year in Decatur, remembers Anderson's playing here in 2005 and 2006.
   "He had a big serve, but I am not sure anyone knew then he would have the success that he is seeing today," reflected Kuhle on Anderson's surprising victory from Federer, who was one point away from winning the match and advancing.  "His results come from hard work and longevity.  He is 31 now and reached the finals of the U.S. Open last year and is in the semi finals this year of Wimbledon with a winnable match against John Isner to get to the finals.
   "He played in 2005 reaching the round of 16 and 2006 he played and reached the quarterfinals," said Kuhle about his tournament where rising talent comes to play.
   Kuhle was right that it was a winnable match for the South African, who competed at the University of Illinois, as he outlasted Isner for a berth in Sunday's Wimbledon final.
   I will have more on this is a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune

Council To Consider Billy Tyus For
Interim City Manager 

    The Decatur City Council will consider the appointment of Billy Tyus to the position of Interim City Manager during its regularly scheduled meeting Monday night. 
     If his appointment is approved, Tyus would fill the post on an interim basis being vacated by current City Manager Tim Gleason, who announced recently that he would be leaving to become City Manager in Bloomington, Il. The Decatur City Council plans to hire a search firm to lead its search for a permanent city manager and will announce details about the search in the coming days. 
     The Council also wants to encourage public input as part of the search and will soon have a link on the city’s web site where residents can provide views on qualifications that they would like to see in the next manager. Residents can also mail input to the City of Decatur at the following address: 

Decatur City Manager Input 
C/O Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe 
1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza 
Decatur, IL 62523 

    Billy Tyus has more than 22 years of public and private sector experience in government, media, community engagement and economic development and in September will have spent the last 18 years working for the City of Decatur. For more than a year he has served as Deputy City Manager, a second-in-command post for the team directing the day to day operations of the City, and previously worked in a variety of roles including Assistant City Manager for Development Services (4/2011-7/2017), Assistant City Manager for Public Information (7/2004-4/2011), Assistant to the City Manager (10/2002-7/2004) and Public Information Officer (9/2000-10/2002). 
    Under the direction of City Manager Tim Gleason, Tyus has been positioned in an expanded role over the last several years, having been more directly involved in the overall administrative operations of the city. During that time the City Manager, he and staff led the city’s ongoing Community Revitalization initiative as directed by the City Council and has been part of the bargaining team that established strategy for and successfully negotiated multi-year agreements with two of the three city bargaining units in conjunction with bargaining unit employees. 
    As Assistant City Manager for Development Services, Tyus managed a five-function division that included planning and zoning, neighborhood outreach, building inspections, economic development and communications. He and his team recruited, facilitated, were 
involved with or moved to completion new economic and community investments totaling more than $100 million that led to hundreds of jobs being created or retained. He and his group along with the city’s Public Works and Finance Departments led implementation of the City’s $14 million Downtown Streetscape project and was integrally involved in negotiating agreements for the construction of the city’s fiber network and design of the zoning requirements for the community Lakeshore Landing lakefront development district. 
     Tyus also served as administrator for the city’s seven TIF districts and his department led implementation of what has been an overhauled single-stream recycling program that now has more than 50% local participation. He earned a certificate of completion from the Harvard Kennedy School of Local Government Senior Executives in State & Local Government program last summer and serves on several local boards including the Boys & Girls Club, Decatur Convention & Visitors Bureau and the United Way Board of Directors. 
     Tyus was a reporter for the Herald & Review newspaper in Decatur prior to joining the City.

Mac on Sports
Kuhle on Anderson's Connection To Decatur

   Kevin Anderson stunned the tennis world with his come-from-behind win over Roger Federer in the Wimbledon semi-finals Wednesday to advance to the semi-finals.
   Chuck Kuhle, who runs the USTA/Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic each year in Decatur, remembers Anderson's playing here in 2005 and 2006.
   "He had a big serve, but I am not sure anyone knew then he would have the success that he is seeing today," reflected Kuhle on Anderson's surprising victory from Federer, who was one point away from winning the match and advancing.  "His results come from hard work and longevity.  He is 31 now and reached the finals of the U.S. Open last year and is in the semi finals this year of Wimbledon with a winnable match against John Isner to get to the finals.
   "He played in 2005 reaching the round of 16 and 2006 he played and reached the quarterfinals," said Kuhle about his tournament where rising talent comes to play.
   I will have more on this in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

Mac on Sports
Training Tuesday for Ursula Beck Ball Runners

   The USTA/Ursula Beck Men's Pro Tennis Classic, to be competed July 31 through Aug. 6th, still is in need of volunteers to serve as ball runners for the event.
   Training is scheduled for Tuesday, July 17th, at 10 a.m. at the Fairview Park Tennis Center.
   T-shirts, hats, water bottles and lunches will be provided during the tournament.
   If anyone is interested in serving as a ball runner and/or earning service hours, please contact Chuck Kuhle at 217-421-7432, or
   Each year 96 players from more than 20 countries come to this event to battle it out for professional ranking points.  Top players from Decatur to compete at all four Grand Slam tournaments.   

New law enforcement-themed Heroes Hall opens to the public at the Children’s Museum of Illinois

Attorney General Madigan Recovers $20 Million For Illinois Pension Systems

     Attorney General Lisa Madigan has announced a $20 million settlement with Royal Bank of Scotland as a result of the bank’s misconduct in its marketing and sale of risky residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) leading up to the 2008 economic collapse.

    The settlement with Royal Bank of Scotland resolves an investigation by Madigan’s office over the bank’s failure to disclose the true risk of RMBS investments.
    “With this settlement, I have recovered over $475 million for Illinois pension systems and residents as a result of fraudulent conduct in the mortgage-backed securities market,” Madigan said. “Nearly a decade after the economic crisis, I continue to recover critical funds for the state due to Wall Street’s misconduct.”
    Under the settlement, Royal Bank of Scotland will pay $20 million to the State of Illinois. The settlement proceeds will be distributed among the Teachers Retirement System of the State of Illinois, the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois, and the Illinois State Board of Investment, which oversees the State Employees’ Retirement System.
    The settlement is the eighth settlement addressing the sale of mortgage-backed securities during the lead up to the economic collapse. Madigan previously settled with JPMorgan Chase & Company for $100 million to Illinois’ pension systems; with Citigroup for $44 million to the state’s pension systems and an additional $40 million in consumer relief; with Bank of America for a record $300 million, including $200 million to Illinois’ pension systems and an additional $100 million in consumer relief; with Morgan Stanley for $22.5 million to the state’s pension systems; and with Goldman Sachs for $25 million for the state’s pension systems and $16 million in consumer relief. Madigan also secured a $52.5 million settlement with Standard & Poor’s and a $19.5 million settlement with Moody’s to resolve allegations that the companies compromised their independence by doling out high ratings to risky mortgage-backed securities as corporate strategies to increase its revenue.
    Attorney General Madigan has led the country in taking legal action against banks, lenders and other financial institutions for unlawful financial misconduct that contributed to the country’s economic collapse. Madigan’s enforcement actions have recovered over $3.3 billion for consumers, communities, county recorders and pension funds.


​​Decatur Family YMCA to Host 3rd Annual McElroy Memorial Golf Outing July 20

    The Decatur Family YMCA will host the 3rd Annual McElroy Memorial golf outing, presented by Skeff Distributing, Friday, July 20 at Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur, IL.
     The McElroy Memorial golf outing honors the legacy of Mayor Mike McElroy, paying tribute to a man who worked tirelessly to improve lives throughout Macon County.
     Event proceeds benefit the Y’s annual campaign, ensuring all children and families – regardless of background or income – have a chance to benefit from the YMCA’s life-changing programs and services, such as swim lessons, summer camp, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA for cancer survivors, licensed daycare, preschool and afterschool programs.
    The format for the McElroy Memorial is a 4-player scramble. A “Toast to Tuna” evening ceremony, sponsored by Team Soy, will be held immediately following golf.
    Registration fees are $150 per golfer and $600 per foursome, which includes lunch provided by Jimmy John’s, dinner provided by Mac’s Pigskin Diner and 4 drink tickets. Golfer tee gifts are a keepsake Toast to Tuna koozie and drawstring backpack.
     For team registration and sponsorship opportunities contact Natalie Beck at or 217-872-3835, ext. 129.

Soy Capital Bank,

J. L. Hubbard Included

First Mid-Illinois Bancshares to Acquire SCB

Bancorp, Inc.

Mac On Sports

Condition Of Alexander Field Poses Problem For Decatur School District

Osborne Online
Hateful Names Hurt More Than Sticks And Stones

Decatur Celebration Announces The Headliners For 33rd Annual Street Festival 


Letters To The Editor


The Weather Channel​

People, Places And Political Races

    • I SAW my first “Dan Caulkins for State Representative” sign of the summer season on South Main Street -- right across the street from Greenwood Cemetery.
    Well, it is not exactly across from Greenwood, but in close proximity.
    Hmmm.  Just because dead people vote in Chicago doesn’t mean they can vote in Decatur! (Sorry, Dan, I couldn’t resist that last sentence.)
    Besides, in Chicago, dead people usually vote for Democrats, not Republicans! 

• JEN McMillin, Dan Caulkins’ Democrat opponent in the Nov. 5 election, is one of the very few area candidates who has been active in sending news releases to the media, announcing her endorsements and stating positions on the issues since the Democratic Primary Election earlier this year, where she ran unopposed.
    The Illinois AFL/CIO recently announced its endorsement of McMillin.
    The Caulkins/McMillin match-up in the General Election will determine which candidate will succeed long-time State Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) in the 101st District, who is retiring after 20 years.             

    The district favors Republican candidates and it was believed, by more than a few political talking heads, that the winner of the three-candidate Republican Primary Election, which was Caulkins, would likely be elected in the General Election.
    McMillin is working hard to shake up the “belief” that a Democrat can’t win in the 101st. 

 • CAULKINS and McMillin had not filed their D-2 Quarterly Report with the Illinois State Board of Elections as we’re going to press (it’s due this month for the second quarter) but looking at the A-1 filings (mandatory when a candidate receives $1,000 or more from a single contributor) Caulkins had received nearly $20,000 in contributions and McMillan none in the same second quarter. 
    One of the $1,000, or more, contributors was “Citizens for Mitchell” which donated $1,000 to Caulkins’ campaign -- out of the $60,000 in funds it has for Bill Mitchell, who, as mentioned, is retiring.

• IT WAS a great weather day for the grand opening of Heroes Hall at the Children’s Museum of Illinois at 55 S. Country Club Road Saturday. (Official opening ceremonies were held Friday evening.)
    Thanks a million (actually $3 million) to Howard G. Buffett, Sheriff of Macon County and a strong supporter of law enforcement, for the $3 million grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, where he serves as Chairman and CEO. 
    Buffett said: “The opportunity to educate children on why public safety is so important, and the incredible commitment and service to communities that men and women in uniform make has never been more important, I hope these exhibits inspire young people to understand these important jobs and even consider future careers in law enforcement.”
    Would you believe there’s a few people who think such projects are a waste of time and someone who contributes his money, like Buffett, “should have his checkbook taken away”?
    Fortunately, such comments are not reflective of the vast majority of area residents (like 99.9%) who feel very positive about such projects -- and count me as one of them.    
    Thanks so much, Howard.  Your efforts and contributions to make Decatur and Macon County a better area to live, work and visit, are real blessings to our community.

 • BRING BACK the Independence Day Parade in downtown Decatur!
    Former Decatur Mayor Terry Howley (my predecessor) contacted me and others about bringing back the July 4th Parade  to downtown.
    I certainly agree with his view and I’m sure others do, too.
    We haven’t experienced a July 4th Parade for several years, although we have a parade for about everything else.
    I believe Ameren Illinois helped organize the Armed Forces and First Responders Parade and the ceremonies that were held on downtown streets and in Central Park on June 16. My suggestion to Terry  was to look into the possibility of combining that parade with a July 4th parade.              
    Unfortunately, it was not a well-attended parade, at least from my vantage point, and that’s not a reflection on the patriotism in this community.
    With increased public relations and making it a July 4th event, I’m sure attendance along the parade route would be much larger.
    Terry seemed to like the suggestion and maybe something can be done.
    Bring back the parade and the brackets to hold the American flag on  the new lightpoles so that, once again the red, white and blue can proudly fly downtown on patriotic holidays.

• THE STALEY MUSEUM, located at 361 N. College Street in Decatur, was ready to host an open house for Staley retirees and former employees on this coming Sunday, but then,  in a flash,  the open house had to be cancelled.
    Lightning struck and did some damage to the Museum during the recent storm and the event is being rescheduled.  A date will be set as soon as repairs are completed.
    Thanks to Julie Staley, President of the Staley Museum Board of Directors for passing along the information at the request of the Museum’s Director Laura Jahr.
    I appreciate so much the work they do in keeping history alive and interesting in Decatur.

 • SO SORRY to hear of the passing of David Freyling.  He was a good man and a champion for veterans and veterans’ causes and I will miss him along with so many who loved and appreciated his life.  His obituary is on page 20 of the July 11th print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

Listen to the “City Hall Insider” hour with Paul Osborne on Byers & Co. at 7:00 every Thursday morning over NEWS/TALK 1340 WSOY.

Earlier Posts

Some Thoughts On Hiring The Next 
City Of Decatur ‘Gunslinger’ 

    Many years ago, a city manager told me that his job description should include “hired gunslinger” because he was selected by the city council to run the city and deal with, among other things, the unpleasant problems (in-cluding finding revenue and efficiency to run the city while dealing with personnel and tax issues) and face the onslaught of those who try to “shoot down” what he presents as the best options for the council to consider. 
    Well, I guess there are some similarities to a city manager’s position and the gunslinger of the Old West but not many -- the city manager doesn’t kill people in a gun fight on Main Street at high noon!
    The Decatur Civic Center is not the O.K. Corral  of Wyatt Earp’s days, even though I can attest, through first-hand experience, there have been a lot of verbal shots fired off and a punch or two thrown over the years by angry citizens.
    Although some citizens have demonstrated against city policies over the years, they showed up with protest and informational signs, not pitchforks!
 • AS THE CITY begins the process of finding a new city manager, following the announcement that present City Manager Tim Gleason was selected for the city manager’s position in Bloomington, it’s probably a good idea to consider what the city council should be looking for in the next person to occupy the office. 
    After all, the seven members of the council have oversight of the city manager (his boss) and they will make the decision on the person who will occupy that position.
    The city manager’s job is not an easy one, regardless of a few Facebook comments indicating that “he doesn’t do anything” and that the position should be eliminated and the mayor should do his work.
    Of course, that’s nonsense for a lot of reasons.
    The past few columns I’ve focused on the responsibilities of the mayor, city council and city manager because I discovered that so many citizens are not aware of the differences in the positions and role each plays in leading the City of Decatur.
        The city manager makes recommendations which are often unpopular and he (or she) faces the heat when unpopular options are approved by the council.  Some believe it is his fault -- even though the city council can accept or reject the options that he presents to the members.

 • I’VE KNOWN THE city managers in Decatur’s past, both as editor and publisher of this newspaper for nearly 50 years, and as mayor -- and I’ve seen them come and go, as well as the abuse several of them experienced, not only from the public, but from a member or two on the council. 
    Decatur was governed by the mayor and commissioner system until a special election was held on Nov. 25, 1958, in which the present council/manager form of government was adopted.
    Although it has been nearly 60 years since that form of government was approved, the first working year of the council/manager form was in 1959.
    The City of Decatur’s website states that the city operates under “...a system which combines the leadership of a representative, elected council with the professional background of an appointed manager."
     The mayor and all members of the council are elected at-large. Their duties include determining city policy, and representing the city in public ceremonies, for which they receive nominal annual salaries -- $8,000 per year for the mayor and $4,000 per year for a council members.         The appointed city manager handles all city administration and is the council's employee and not an elected official.

• IT IS CALLED the council/manager form of government, not the mayor/council form.  The mayor is elected to be mayor -- and the city council members are elected to be council members.
        One of the biggest responsibilities of the council and mayor is to select the best qualified person for that position because of the enormous amount of responsibility that is there.
    Anyone who suggests that one of the present council members, or the mayor, should combine that elected office and become city manager is talking through their hat (if they are wearing one).
    That’s like saying that a member of the Decatur Memorial Hospital’s board of directors, should be appointed to do heart surgery when he or she has never been to medical school!

 • I’VE KNOWN all the city managers from the time Decatur went to the council/manager form of government in 1959  except the very first one -- John Dever. (I was in high school when the council/manager form of government was adopted.)
    As a publisher, I’ve met with and written about all of the other city managers since Dever, including (in order) W. Robert Semple, Leslie T. Allen, Jim Bacon, Jim Williams, Steve Garman, John A. Smith (acting), Ryan McCrady, Gregg Zientara (interim), and Tim Gleason.
    Each one had a little different style in approaching the office.
    Leslie T. Allen was the longest serving city manager of Decatur.  He was hired in 1972 and was city manager for 16 years.  Allen passed away three years ago. He kept involved in the community for all of the years after he retired from the city manager’s position.
    Several others moved on.  
    Ryan McGrady stayed in the community after leaving the city manager’s office and is now the head of the EDC.     
    I worked with City Manager Steve Garman and Acting City Manager John A. Smith during the years I served as mayor so I’ve watched in an upclose and personal way how city managers operate.
    Of those hired by the council as city manager, Allen probably had the best track record in avoiding a lot of controversy, but a city manager’s performance has to be judged by what was happening in the city during the time he served.
    Being a city manager during a time of great prosperity is much different than being a city manager in a struggling economy.
    Allen served at an extremely positive time in the city, had a solid council and mayor and when things are going well in a community, city managers usually don’t take a lot of flak.
    That’s one of several reasons that Allen lasted so long.  In this day and age, 16 years is a long, long time to serve as city manager in a community in a city the size of Decatur.
Listen to the “City Hall Insider” hour with Paul Osborne on Byers & Co. at 7:00 every Thursday morning over NEWS/TALK 1340 WSOY. or visit our website at 

​​​Previous Post

Do We Need A 
City Manager?

    Observing some of the “wisdom” on display on our Facebook page and those of other local news media, in reaction to Decatur City Manager Tim Gleason accepting the city manager position in Bloomington, I thought it would be helpful to give a refresher course on the role of a city manager in our form of government.
    It was obvious, by many of the comments, those commenting didn’t have a clue about the city manager’s job -- but that’s not anything new on public Facebook pages where facts aren’t often a part of the conversation,
    So, I decided to answer questions people have about the city manager’s position in the council/manager form of government, which is what Decatur has, and has had for over a half century.
    The following information comes from the International City/County Management Association which I feel gives a clear picture of our system of city government in Decatur, and the responsibilities of the mayor, council members and city manager.
    Read carefully.  It should help you avoid posting untrue statements on Facebook (if you post on Facebook) -- plus, I may give a pop quiz later.

    • What Is The Council-Manager Form, Which Is Used In So Many Local Governments?
    The council-manager form is the system of local government that combines the strong political leadership of elected officials in the form of a council or other governing body, with the strong managerial experience of an appointed local government manager. The form establishes a representative system where all power is concentrated in the elected council and where the council hires a professionally trained manager to oversee the delivery of public services.

    • Is It A Responsive Form Of Gov-ernment?
    In council-manager government, council members are the leaders and policy makers elected to represent various segments of the community and to concentrate on policy issues that are responsive to citizens’ needs and wishes. The manager is appointed by council to carry out policy and ensure that the entire community is being served. If the manager is not responsive to the council’s wishes, the council has authority to terminate the manager at any time. In that sense, a manager’s responsiveness is tested daily.

    • What Is The Council’s Function?
    The council is the legislative body; its members are the community’s decision makers. Power is centralized in the elected council, which approves the budget and determines the tax rate, for example. The council also focuses on the community’s goals, major projects, and such long-term considerations as community growth, land use development, capital improvement plans, capital financing, and strategic planning. The council hires a professional manager to carry out the administrative responsibilities and supervises the manager’s performance.

    • What Is The Manager’s Function?
    The manager is hired to serve the council and the community and to bring to the local government the benefits of training and experience in administering local government projects and programs on behalf of the governing body. The manager prepares a budget for the council’s consideration; recruits, hires, and supervises the government’s staff; serves as the council’s chief adviser; and carries out the council’s policies. Council members and citizens count on the manager to provide complete and objective information, pros and cons of alternatives, and long-term consequences.

    • What Is The Cost To The Local Government Of Appointing A Professional Manager?
    Local governments have found that overall costs actually have been reduced with competent management. Savings come in the form of reduced operating costs, increased efficiency and productivity, improved revenue collection, or effective use of technology.

    • Does The Manager Participate In Policy Determination?
    The manager makes policy recommendations to the council, but the council may or may not adopt them and may modify the recommendations. The manager is bound by whatever action the council takes.

    • Where Does The Mayor Fit In?
    Mayors in council-manager communities (or chairpersons in counties) are key political leaders and policy developers. In the case of the council, the mayor is responsible for soliciting citizen views in forming these policies and interpreting them to the public. The mayor presides at council meetings, serves as a spokesperson for the community, facilitates communication and understanding between elected and appointed officials, assists the council in setting goals and advocating policy decisions, and serves as a promoter and defender of the community. In addition, the mayor serves as a key representative in intergovernmental relations. The mayor, council, and manager constitute a policy-development and management team.

    • Are All Council-Manager Governments Structured The Same Way?
    No. One of its most attractive features is that the council-manager form is adaptable to local conditions and preferences. For example, some communities have councils that are elected at large while other councils are elected by district. Some local governments have mayors who are elected by the voters at large; others are elected by their colleagues on the council.

    • Is This Form Of Government Used Only In Certain Kinds Of Cities?
    No. In fact, it is not restricted to cities. It is used by counties too. Currently, 3,625 cities operate under this form. Additionally, 529 counties indicate that they operate under the county administrator form. They vary greatly in size and characteristics, including independent cities, center cities, suburbs, and counties.

    • How Many Americans Live In Communities That Operate Under Council-Manager Government?
    More than 75.5 million.

    • Is The Form Popular In Large Communities?
    Yes. Out of 199 cities with greater than 100,000 citizens, 112 use this form of government. Some examples are Phoenix; San Diego; Dallas; Cincinnati; San Antonio; Kansas City, Missouri; and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

    • How Much Citizen Participation Is Possible Under Council-Manager Government?
    Successful examples of citizen participation in the local government service delivery decision-making process are widespread among professionally managed U.S. communities. Because professional local government management offers government of the people, by the people, and for the people, it sets the stage for citizen activism by encouraging open communication between citizens and their government. Examples range from visioning, in which citizens play a major role in determining the future of their community, to neighborhood service delivery, which involves residents through the development of citizen/government partnerships, to community-oriented local government services. Because political power is concentrated in the entire governing body rather than one elected official, more citizens have an opportunity to be elected to a position in which they have significant influence over the future of their community.

    • What Is The History Of The Council-Manager Form?
    Born out of the turn-of-the-century progressive reform movement, the council-manager system of local government is one of the few original American contributions to political theory. In 1908, Staunton, Virginia, instituted the first position legally defining, by ordinance, the broad authority and responsibility associated with today’s professional local government manager. Sumter, South Carolina, was the first city to adopt a charter incorporating the basic principles of council-manager government in 1912. Westmount, Quebec, introduced the form to Canada in 1913. The first large city to adopt the plan was Dayton, Ohio, in 1914. The first counties to adopt it in the l930s were Arlington County, Virginia, and Durham County and Robeson County, North Carolina. Since its establishment, the council-manager form has become the most popular form of government in the United States in communities with populations of 5,000 or greater. The form also is popular in Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Honduras, Chile, and Brazil. 

    • What Salary Does The Manager Receive?
    Earnings of managers depend on their educational background and experience, the size and complexity of the local governments employing them, and the economic conditions of the regions where communities are located. The council sets the manager’s salary. Detailed information on salaries is compiled annually by ICMA and is available on request.

    • Can The Manager Be Fired?
    Managers serve at the pleasure of the council or governing body. They can be fired by a majority of the council, consistent with local laws, ordinances, or employment agreements they may have with the council. Control is always in the hands of the elected representatives of the people.

Decatur MSA Adds 
Good-Paying Jobs 

Hundreds more jobs are helping to boost our local economy and putting people back to work, according to news from the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur - Macon County (EDC).
    The state’s May employment report for the Decatur Metropolitan Statistical Area shows an increase of 500 jobs. 
    Those jobs are (non-farm) positions mostly in manufacturing and construction.
    The EDC also reported a steady growth in the number of people living and working in the Decatur area. In one year, our local labor force and local employment increased by over 1,200.
    In short, there’s a positive thrust towards the future in our community and the statistics show that reality, despite what a few naysayers try to spread around the community claiming that Decatur is going downhill.
    I realize that facts are usually confusing for naysayers (which is why they usually don’t read them) but job growth in our community cannot be denied and many of those jobs being created, and filled, are good paying jobs.
    Ryan McCrady, president of the EDC stated:  “The steady and sustained job growth is demonstrating a very positive trend for our local economy. The significant increase in the number of individuals both working and living in our community will improve the quality of life in Decatur and result in additional retail, recreational, and entertainment opportunities. They will also provide critical financial resources to assist our local government bodies in providing critical services. 
    “The credit for this job growth goes to our dedicated group of local employers, and to the outstanding workers who produce high-quality products and services.”
    Our future looks bright!!!!

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