Big Changes For Archer City Government

Newschannel 6 is asking tough questions of City Leaders in Archer City. Last week, the City Council appointed a City Manager, even though voters decided they did not want a City Manager form of Government. Turns out, its not the same thing.

Texas Local Government Code outlines two different types of government for general law municipalities, like Archer City. Voters declined becoming a City Manager form – where one person has executive control. They elected to remain a Strong Mayor-Council form. "The responsibilities of the Mayor under the Texas Local Government Code and the responsibilities of the City Council as a governing body of Archer City will remain with us, they still are. The only thing that has happened is we've given our employees a more vertical hierarchy to work under as city manager," said Mayor David Levy.

Levy says the City, for some time, has needed an internal hierarchy. At the urging of other City Officials, the Council decided to make that the responsibility of George Huffman. "The voters wanted to continue to have a strong mayoral form of government and we of course on the Council listened to that…We chose to chose to make it a more vertical hierarchy with day to day operations being vested in a person which we are calling the City Manager but I need to stress: Its not a City Manager form of government. We chose to use that title, but it could have been chief administrator or anything like that," said Levy.

"The buck still stops with the Mayor," said the Mayor. "George is not going to have the unilateral authority to make decisions that would have been possible in a city manager form of government. This is not a city manager form of government; this is still our same strong mayoral-council form of government with a person in charge who happens to be titled City Manager," said Levy.

Levy says Huffman is just the man for the job. "People here know George, they trust him I think that's going to go a long way helping to make sure we maintain good citizen relations... George isn't afraid to get his hands dirty, to get on the backhoe and do what it takes to make our city good," said Levy.

Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6