Charter Change: City Manager Costs and Tenure

During council’s ongoing consideration of possible updates and changes to the city charter, councilors requested information about the potential costs and likely tenure of a city manager in Elkins. Tim Stranko, the attorney retained by council to assist with the charter-change process, has prepared a memo answering these questions.

Mr. Stranko’s research finds that, in West Virginia cities employing city managers, the annual salary range is $75-130,000, with the average for a West Virginia city being $89,035.  According to a study by the American Society for Public Administration, “the average tenure of a city manager has been “lengthening over the decades” to 6.9 years.” Attached to his memo is a report from the International City/County Management Association that looks at the question of tenure of city managers in more detail.

Mr. Stranko also presents specific information from several West Virginia cities that employ city managers. Click here to access the memo.

Restructure Council?

Last in a series of four articles about the charter change process

Last week, Elkins Common Council began public deliberations on possible changes to the city charter. This week, the City of Elkins is running a series of articles providing background and contextual information about the charter-change process. You can find more about this process, including an analysis of the current charter and charter change FAQs, here: www.bit.ly/ElkinsCharterUpdate.

How big should council be? How should council members be elected? How should representation be configured?

These are some of the other questions council is wrestling with as members deliberate toward possible changes to the Elkins City Charter, which has not been updated since 1901. (more…)

Change Our Government Structure?

Third in a series of four articles about the charter change process

Last week, Elkins Common Council began public deliberations on possible changes to the city charter. This week, the City of Elkins is running a series of articles providing background and contextual information about the charter-change process. You can find more about this process, including an analysis of the current charter and charter change FAQs, here: www.bit.ly/ElkinsCharterUpdate.

One of the most important questions facing council during this process is whether to alter the basic structure of the city government. State code allows West Virginia municipalities to be structured under five different plans. Each of these plans has advantages and disadvantages. (more…)

What is a Charter—and What Does Ours Say?

Second in a series of four articles about the charter-change process.

Last week, Elkins Common Council began public deliberations on possible changes to the city charter. This week, the City of Elkins is running a series of articles providing background and contextual information about the charter-change process. You can find more about this process, including an analysis of the current charter and charter change FAQs, here: www.bit.ly/ElkinsCharterUpdate.

The role of a city charter is similar to that of a nation’s constitution. The charter stipulates the structure, authority, and basic operating rules of a city government. A city’s charter also describes the terms, election/appointment process, and core responsibilities of city officials. (more…)

The Charter Update Process

First in a series of four articles about the charter-change process.

Last week, Elkins Common Council began public deliberations on possible changes to the city charter. Because changes to a city’s charter can have profound effects on that city, it’s important that members of the public understand the process so they can provide informed input. Today through Friday, we’re running a series of blog posts providing background and contextual information about the charter-change process. (You can find more about this process, including an analysis of the current charter and charter change FAQs, here.) (more…)

City Hall News for August 8, 2020

Elkins, W. Va., August 8, 2020: Meeting this week are council’s Public Safety Committee and Rules & Ordinances Committee, as well as the Elkins Tree Board.  Monday’s regularly scheduled meeting of the Personnel Committee has been cancelled for lack of new business. (more…)

Fire Department Testing September 12

The Elkins Fire Department (EFD) will be performing civil service testing on September 12. The physical fitness testing and written testing will both be offered that day.

There are currently no openings at EFD. However, the only way to be considered for a future opening is to pass the physical and written tests and be placed on the eligible candidates list of the Elkins Firefighters Civil Service Commission.

EFD’s physical fitness standards have recently been updated. (To download them, click here.) The standards are challenging, so candidates interested in testing in September should begin training immediately.

Download an application packet here.

Elkins Council Considering Charter Changes Thursday

Elkins, W. Va., August 3, 2020: Elkins Common Council will hear a presentation from its charter-change consultant at Thursday’s 7 p.m. meeting. The presentation will include analysis of and recommendations for improving the city charter. Immediately following, council will begin public deliberations concerning what charter changes to pursue. Following Thursday’s meeting, subsequent planned steps in the charter review process include opportunities for questions and input from the public, a formal public hearing, and at least two additional public council meetings. (more…)

City Hall News: Aug. 1, 2020

Elkins, W. Va., August 1, 2020: Elkins Common Council meets virtually on Thursday at 7 p.m. The agenda is not yet finalized but includes an ordinance revising municipal court fees, the second of three readings of an ordinance issuing bonds to finance the sewer/stormwater separation project, and an ordinance adopting the first recodification of city laws since 1991. (more…)

Elkins Officials Explain Railroad Avenue Parking Decision

Change Necessary Due to Substantially Increased Traffic, Federal Standards

Elkins, W. Va., July 31, 2020: The decision to prohibit parallel parking along Railroad Avenue in Elkins was triggered by concerns about increasing traffic volumes and was necessary to comply with federal traffic safety standards, city officials explained today. (more…)

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