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City Manager Blog

Aug 02

[ARCHIVED] Why does Laramie have a City Manager rather than a Mayor?

The original item was published from July 29, 2022 4:42 PM to August 2, 2022 3:34 PM

Q.  Why does Laramie have a City Manager rather than a Mayor? How would the public go about evoking change to an elected mayor rather than an appointed manager?

 

A.  In response to your first question, Laramie is a Council-Manager municipality under Wyoming Statute in which residents elect city council representatives who then select a mayor and vice-mayor for a two-year term. Paul Weaver (Ward 2) currently service as Mayor and Jayne Pearce currently serves as Vice Mayor through December 31, 2022. In January 2023, upon swearing of in a new City Council following the November 2022 election, a new Mayor and Vice Mayor may be instated. A city manager is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the city council to direct the operations of the city and to implement the policy decisions of the City Council. The City Council also appoints two other professionals: a City Attorney and a Municipal Judge. 

 

More information on the Council-Manager form of government and the roles and responsibilities of elected and appointed officials is available through the National League of Cities Cities 101 — Forms of Local Government - National League of Cities (nlc.org) and the International City/County Management Association Form of Government | icma.org.

 

Historically, on September 25, 1942, a petition was filed with the City Clerk proposing and petitioning that the City of Laramie accept and adopt the provisions of Article Eight (8) of Chapter Twenty-Two (22) of the Wyoming Revised Statutes of 1931, which Article provides for an established a form of city government known as “Manager (or Council Manager) Government”, with a city manager to be appointed by the city council. On October 20, 1942, an ordinance was brought forward, “AN ORDINANCE CALLING AND PROVIDING FOR A SPECIAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION IN THE CITY OF LARAMIE, WYOMING, TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, THE THIRD DAY OF NOVEMBER, A.D. 1942, UPON THE QUESTION: “Shall the proposition to accept the provisions of Article Eight (8) of Chapter Twenty-two (22) of the Wyoming Revised Statutes of 1931, which Article provides for and establishes a form of city government know as ‘Manager (or Council Manager) Government’, with a city manager to be appointed by the city council, for the City of Laramie, Wyoming, to be adopted?”; Making PROVISION FOR THE ADOPTION AND EFFECTUATION OF SAID FORM OF ELECTION; DECLARING AN EMERGENCY; AND REPEALING ALL ORDINANCES OR PARTS OF ORDINANCES IN CONFLICT HEREWITH.” The special municipal election was held on Tuesday, the Third day of November, A.D. 1942 with the results of the vote being 1,797 of the qualified voters in favor of and 991 against establishing a form of Manager (or Council Member) Government. The presiding council passed this ordinance on the 1st day of December, A.D. 1942.

 

The answer to your second question can be found in Wyoming State Statute, ARTICLE 3 - CHANGING FORM OF GOVERNMENT:

15-11-301. Forms of government authorized; procedure for change. 

(a) An incorporated city or town may adopt the commission or city manager form of government or other lawful form of government as follows: 

(i) An incorporated city or town shall submit to the vote of the electors the question whether to change the form of government on the petition of qualified electors residing in the city or town equal in number to fifteen percent (15%) of the number of electors voting at the last preceding municipal general election; 

(ii) A petition for a special election on the question of changing the form of government shall be filed with the city clerk at least one hundred twenty (120) days prior to the next regular municipal primary election; 

(iii) A petition for change of the form of government may not be filed within four (4) years after the existing form of government was established; 

(iv) When such petition is filed and determined by the city clerk to be legally sufficient, the mayor shall proclaim a special election on the question stating the present form of government, the proposed new form of government, and the time of the election. The proclamation shall be published at least once a week for four (4) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or town; 

(v) The special election on the question of change of the form of government shall be held not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days after the petition is filed; 

(vi) Such special election shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by W.S. 22-23-801 through 22-23-809; 

(vii) If the majority of votes cast are in favor of the proposed new form of government, the municipality shall at the next municipal primary and general elections nominate and elect officers under the new form of government. When the officers are elected and qualified, the municipality shall be governed by the new form of government; 

(viii) Immediately after the special election on the question of change of form of government, the mayor shall certify the result of the election to the county clerk and the secretary of state. 

15-11-302. Rejection of change by voters. If a change of form of government is rejected by the voters at the special election, the question shall not be resubmitted to the voters for a period of four (4) years following the special election.

 

Thank you for your patience as the response to your first question was researched.