At 7 p.m. on Monday evening dozens of McPherson residents came out to hear a report by City Attorney Jeff Houston on the feasibility of changing McPherson’s three member commission.
Houston gave information on the history of commissions in McPherson — it has had a three-person commission since 1913, and it was thought it would make the city run more like a business. More than 100 years later McPherson is just one of eight municipalities in the state that still has a three member commission.
Changing the form of government would be complicated, especially if it went from a commission to a council-mayor type of government. Staying a commission but increasing the number of members to five would be less complicated but still require changes in city ordinances.
Those present weighed in both in favor of change and for keeping it at three members. The main reasons for changing are to increase the diversity in gender and age of the commission members. Having five members would lighten the load of the current members who oversee all city departments.
Increasing the number of commissioners could result in increased costs to the city in the form of additional salaries and the need to create a new department head if the work division laid out by Houston is adopted.
According to Mayor Tom Brown, the commission will take action on the matter at a future city commission meeting.