Letter to the Editor: Troup needs to accept responsibility for his mistakes

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Dan Brink

The recent Quincy City Council’s vote of no confidence in Mayor Mike Troup and his response indicate a lack of understanding on the part of the mayor regarding how our city operates. As someone who previously served as a Republican alderman, I support a strong city council that delegates authority to the mayor. A system of checks and balances is crucial for good government.

A strong City Council provides a voice for the people. When the City Council is involved in making decisions and holds the mayor accountable, citizens can express their concerns to their alderman and have their interests represented. Choices are made in the best interest of the community, rather than serving the agenda of one individual.

A strong City Council encourages working together and compromise. When the mayor possesses too much power, there is a risk of abuse or corruption.  When the City Council has a say in decision-making, the mayor must talk to and negotiate with other elected officials. This can lead to well-rounded decisions that include a broader range of opinions.  A strong City Council also provides stability and continuity in government. When there is a change in leadership, the City Council can help ensure a smooth transition and prevent abrupt shifts in policy.

Some argue a strong mayor system is more efficient and effective. They believe a mayor with complete control over decision-making can act quickly and decisively without getting bogged down in bureaucracy.  That kind of leadership is not sustainable in the long term. Relying on a single person to make all decisions is unstable. It can lead to abuses of power or a breakdown in good government.

City code states Quincy is a home rule city with a council/mayor form of government. The City Council is the legislative division of the city government. The mayor has supervision over all the executive officers and employees of the city — but not the aldermen. Mr. Troup has not yet displayed his understanding of that piece of the city’s code.

In the mayor’s response to the City Council’s vote of no confidence, he talked about his commitment for more money for streets, water and sewer systems; jobs and population growth; and a commitment to public safety. These goals are good.

However, the mayor hasn’t communicated clearly with the City Council about: 

  • Ongoing negotiations with the police union;
  • Why he felt changes were needed on the Fire and Police Commission;
  • Why changes were made to the city’s health insurance program (and the obvious problems with the changes); and 
  • The reason for and process to investigate the search for and appointment of the chief of the Quincy Police Department.  

These important issues for our city impact the mayor’s agenda. His failure to involve the City Council in the decision-making process has led to confusion and mistrust.  He must do better! 

To move forward, Mr. Troup needs to accept responsibility for his mistakes, accept constructive criticism, communicate, cooperate and earn the support of the City Council.  He clearly has failed to do so thus far in his administration.

It ultimately is the responsibility of all elected officials to work together.

Dan Brink
Former Republican alderman

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