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In which form of municipal government do voters have the most impact on the executive branch?

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Municipal governments in United States cities, counties, and towns operate on only a few different models. The "strong mayor" model is probably what most US citizens are familiar with, which is when the mayor is directly elected by the people. Other forms of municipal government are usually some variation on an elected city council, who then appoints or elects a "manager," effectively the chief administrative officer for the municipality.

There's a well-considered argument that, in a "strong mayor" system, because a given candidate is directly elected by the people, the executive branch is therefore more responsive to citizens.

In the other most common model (and remember, these are not the only two)—let's call it the "city manager" model—members of the city council are directly elected to serve their given district, which is generally some form of political...

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