A non-partisan collection of citizens and business owners is trying to change Danville’s form of government. A group calling itself MOVING DANVILLE FORWARD (M.D.F.) has started a petition drive to place a referendum question on the November 6, 2018 General Election ballot. The referendum would offer residents a choice to change the form of government from a Mayor/Council format to a City Manager/Council format.
Danville’s current government structure was established in 1987 as a result of a Civil Rights voting case brought by a group of citizens seeking better representation and participation in improving Danville through Aldermanic representation. MOVING DANVILLE FORWARD’s idea would not change the number of alderman nor the manner or method in which they are elected.
MOVING DANVILLE FORWARD believes it is time to offer citizens the option to choose trained, professional leadership in guiding and prioritizing the use of taxpayer resources through oversight of the day-to-day operations of the city. M.D.F. believes the City Manager/Council format is an effective and proven practice that offers citizens the best value for their taxpayer dollars.
MDF says the City Manager format can provide access to leadership candidates who have been educated, trained, certified and experienced in the administration of local government. It also provides a higher level of accountability. A City Manager at all times answers directly to the Alderpersons on the City Council. Council members have the authority to hire, and if necessary remove the City Manager.
Under the proposal there would remain a Part-Time Mayor, who would preside over Council meetings, make appointments to Boards and Commissions as is currently done, and would also serve as the official City representative at community events and functions.
Community volunteers will begin circulating petitions this week to obtain the necessary 550+ signatures required to have the referendum question placed on the November ballot. The petitions will be presented to a Judge for a hearing to determine placement on the ballot.
There will be numerous Community Forums and Town Hall style meetings at which the merits and benefits of the City Manager/Council format will be presented, with questions and/or concerns being addressed. . A website and other current communication methods will be available in the near future.