Voters Approve Charter Amendment to Change Minneapolis Government Structure


What is also deleted is the executive committee. Previously, the mayor, the president of the city council and three members of the city council constituted the committee which together made proposals for the approval of the city council. Voters who opposed the issue feared the removal of the committee would further move the mayor away from city council.

In his first one-on-one interview after his re-election, Frey said the change created clarity and gave him the same authority as his counterpart in St. Paul.

“Previously, you know, you spent almost as much time arguing over who has authority as you did over the substance of an issue,” he said.

Frey will now control the day-to-day activity of the city, while the city council will remain the legislative body.

The charter change has been proposed several times over the past four decades, former city council member Barb Johnson said.

“The reaction to the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd has exacerbated and drawn people’s attention to the lingering tension between the mayor and city council,” she said.

Johnson, the longest-serving chairman of the city council in Minneapolis history, said the charter change should not change the working relationship between the executive and the legislature.

“I think (…) it will be clear to the mayor and the soon-to-be-elected president of the council that they need to work more closely together,” she said.

Johnson said even with the charter changes, city council still has great power.

“They make the laws, the ordinances,” Johnson said. “They vote the budget, how many departments are allocated, you know, to do their job. The city council still has the power to fire a department head with a two-thirds vote.”

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