May 24 Webinar Explores Choices in Cities’ Basic Governing Structures

May 24, 2023

Today, the Bureau of Governmental Research presented a webinar, entitled “Designing City Governments for Success.” This event featured two national experts on municipal forms of government, Dr. Kimberly Nelson of the University of North Carolina’s School of Government and Dr. Jered Carr of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs. To offer local perspective, the panel featured David Marcello, executive director of The Public Law Center at Tulane University Law School. Mr. Marcello chaired the 1994-95 advisory committee that undertook the only comprehensive revision of New Orleans’ Home Rule Charter (City Charter) since its 1954 launch.

Our panel discussed:

  • The governing structures used in New Orleans and other large U.S. cities.
  • How the basic arrangement of powers and duties within a large city’s government shapes its ability to deliver services and infrastructure effectively.
  • How cities with strong mayor governments, such as New Orleans, can manage the benefits and risks of that form of government, and what the main alternative – a council-manager government – has to offer.

BGR has no current position on possible future changes to the City Charter. However, our report last fall on the City Charter amendment to require City Council confirmation of the mayor’s appointments of City department heads and certain other administrators raised questions among members of the public about choices in the City’s form of government and the implications of those. Because of that interest, BGR put together this webinar. Click the links below to watch a recording of the event and access related information.