The Winthrop Town Council will meet in a special workshop to discuss issues facing the town, and possible approaches to solving them, on May 17 beginning at 5 p.m. in the Hen House room at the Winthrop Barn.
The workshop, which will precede the regular 7 p.m. council meeting, is open to the public.
Topics will include whether the town should reconsider its existing “strong mayor” form of government, which is defined by state statute as one system for overseeing a municipality’s operations. Under the “strong mayor” structure — which Twisp also has — the mayor often acts as the town’s chief executive and has hiring, firing and other powers that are not shared with the council.
One possibility raised by council members is a city manager form of government, under which elected officials hire a professional manager to oversee the municipality’s operations. That form is more typical in larger towns and cities.
Mayor Anne Acheson’s recent firing of Marshal Hal Henning was one incident that prompted the discussion of Winthrop’s government structure. The mayor has hiring and firing authority, and such actions cannot be challenged by the council. Some council members were frustrated that they were not consulted before Acheson fired Henning.
Also on the agenda, and related to Henning’s departure, is the future of the police clerk’s position.