Editorials

In Ocean Springs, nothing wrong with reviewing government

Members of the Ocean Springs Mayor and Board of Aldermen Matt McDonnell and Chic Cody, Mayor Connie Moran and Alderman at large Bobby Cox are in session earlier this year.
Members of the Ocean Springs Mayor and Board of Aldermen Matt McDonnell and Chic Cody, Mayor Connie Moran and Alderman at large Bobby Cox are in session earlier this year. Sun Herald File

Ocean Springs should keep an open mind.

Some in the city are pushing for a vote on whether to add a city manager to the city government. And we believe it’s desirable to occasionally take a hard look at city government. It never hurts to consider the possibilities.

We urge the people of Ocean Springs to stay involved. Such a change would be a big deal, shaking up everything from the mayor’s office to ward lines.

A city manager basically would replace the mayor as the person responsible for the day-to-day operation of the city. The mayor would be given a vote on the City Council, which would set policies and budgets for the manager to carry out.

That’s a very basic description of the manager form of government and there are many nuances to be considered. Those pushing the petition to get the issue on the ballot as early as next spring promise they’ll bring in leaders from other South Mississippi cities that have managers.

We hope the people of Ocean Springs will listen closely.

And we hope the supporters of a change to a city manager keep an open mind, too.

Ocean Springs, as Mayor Connie Moran pointed out, is doing well. And we have to wonder if a city the size of Ocean Springs will attract someone with better credentials and experience than Moran for the city manager’s job.

Those in favor of a city manager say it’s not a reflection on her leadership. They say the change will keep politics out of the day-to-day operation of the city.

That would be wonderful. But we wonder if it’s possible.

We are ready for those in favor of the switch to show us how.

The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.

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