• How state statutes impact the operation of local government.
  • Government models and practices of similar cities in the population range of 250,000-500,000.
  • Effects of governance models on efforts to increase racial equity and social justice.
  • Best practices for ensuring municipal decision makers are representative of, connected to and accountable to all members of the community.
  • Other systems/methods for creating multiple avenues for resident participation in government without privileging decision-making based on the time and ability to attend meetings.

Common Council

  • The powers and duties of the Common Council.
  • Powers of Council Members to chair meetings.
  • The attributes of councils with full-time members, and volunteer councils.
  • Number of Council members and the impact one effective representation of residents in general and people of color and those living with lower incomes in particular.
  • District vs. at large elections for Council members.
  • Remuneration of Council members include a process for a change in pay.
  • The size and cost of Council staff.


  • The powers and duties of the mayor including the hiring and firing of department and division heads, veto, line item veto and emergency management powers.
  • The size and cost of Mayoral staff.
  • Powers of the Mayor to chair meetings of the Common Council and Finance Committee.
  • Powers of the Mayor to appoint members of the Common Council to Council Committees.
  • Powers of the Mayor to appoint members to City Committees.

Boards, Commissions, and Committees

  • The committee system, and the use of resident, Common Council and staff members.
  • The scope and nature of the powers of committees, commissions and boards, including how they report to the Common Council and how their recommendations are received.
  • The frequency and time of day of both Council and committee meetings.