Image: Mayor Paul R. Soglin

Mayor Paul R. Soglin

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Protecting the Board of Estimates

In the next 60 days, on May 17, 2016, the Madison Common Council plans to enact drastic changes in the structure of city government. The so-called "City Government Reform Initiative" was announced on March 16, 2016. It removes from the mayor the authority to make aldermanic committee appointments.

More importantly, the initiative strips the mayor of the authority to appoint the Board of Estimates and to serve in a tie-breaking role.

Part of the rationalization for the changes is the balance of powers between the legislative and executive branches. Of course, the structure they envision takes place when there are two legislative branches to provide a check on one another. In Madison, we have one legislative house, the city council, so the only formal balance is the executive branch, the mayor.

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