October 2020, Year XII, n. 10
The Strong Mayor
Telos: In Italy, the Prime Minister is indicated by Parliament. However, every time there is talk of changing the Constitution and introducing the direct election of the Prime Minister, people use the expression ‘The Mayor of Italy’. This shows that Mayors have more power to impact on their citizens’ everyday life than even the Head of the Government. Does this also apply to the U.S.?
Hillary Schieve: There are 19,429 municipal governments in the United States, that are characterized as having either ‘weak’ or ‘strong’ Mayors. The term is not a judgement of effectiveness, rather it distinguishes the level of political power and administrative authority assigned to the Mayor in the Municipal Charter. In practice, there is no sharp category that distinguishes between ‘weak’ and ‘strong’ Mayors, but rather a continuum of authority and power along which Cities are spread. However, the designation of ‘weak’ and ‘strong’ are useful in showing the variations in mayoral authority that exist. Most ‘strong’ Mayors are in the Mayor-Council form of government, and are directly elected by citizens to that office. Most ‘weak’ Mayors are in a council-manager form, and are elected from within the City Council. ...more
Hillary Schieve is the Mayor of Reno, Nevada, the ‘Biggest Little City in the world’: natural assets and expanding infrastructure make ‘little city’ Reno a big-time destination for visitors and talent. A casino town goes all in on art, culture, and innovation. Is it any wonder that young talent is pouring in?
Tesla opened its “Gigafactory” battery plant in 2016 and Amazon and Google-parent Alphabet have campuses at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, one of the largest industrial parks in the world. That has opened the cheap land rush, fuelled by the Nevada tax breaks, resulting in municipal estimates that almost 15,000 jobs were created in the region between 2018 and 2019. The presence of growing corporate offices and their workforce are breathing new life into the local economy, which is good news for everyone, from homebuilders to street artists. ...more