Forest Park council likes status quo

FOREST PARK — Forest Park City Council members met with the city’s attorney during a training session Tuesday.

Council members discussed various forms of government structures to regulate the city, such as mayor-council (strong mayor) form, mayor-council (weak mayor) form and council-manager form.

The city of Forest Park is governed by the council-manager form, according to the city’s Mayor Pro-Tem, Sparkle Adams.

“We have a passion to be out in the community to address all of the issues that come before us,” Adams said. “We have to know and understand our scope of authority.”

Under council-manager form of government, the city council provides the primary policy-making role and an appointed city manager provides the primary executive role.

“This is the most efficient form of government and inexpensive,” said Forest Park City Manager John Parker. “We are not thinking of changing our form of government.”

Forest Park city charter gives the powers and duties of the mayor as well as city council, added Parker.

According to Parker, the council-manager form of government for the city requires:

• Mayor and council members are elected by voters.

• The mayor is a part of the council and votes as a regular council member.

• Mayor and city council make city policies

• City administrator or city manager handle administrative functions and day-to-day operations of the city.

During the session the city’s attorney, Robert Mack Jr., reminded the city council of the purpose and goal for the training.

“Remember why you ran and why you are here,” Mack said. “That will keep you accountable to the people. Knowing why you are here keeps you grounded and focused at all times. You want to keep your good name for you and the city. You don’t want to lose that.”

Mack told the council Forest Park was the only city in Clayton County that gave raises to city employees and did not lay off employees. He said the council’s job is to move the city forward by setting policies that will be advantageous to the city.