Joe Pollino

MARVIN — On Tuesday night (Nov. 3), Village of Marvin residents voted on two charter amendment referendums.

The first was a choice to change the form of government in Marvin from Mayor-Council to Council-Manager. Marvin voters were in favor of changing the form of government to Council-Manager. Voters were in favor by a percentage of 52.78, according to the NC State Board of Elections.

The difference between Mayor-Council and Council-Manager styles of government is perhaps best explained by Frayda S. Bluestein and Robert P. Joyce, both of whom are professors of Public Law and Government at UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Government.

They explain it this way: “The fundamental difference is in who has the legal authority to hire and fire city employees. In a council-manager system, the manager has that power. (There are limited exceptions. Under North Carolina General Statute 160A-173, city attorneys are appointed by city councils; and in some council-manager cities, the city charter provides that the council appoints and removes the city clerk and, very occasionally, the chief of police.) In a mayor-council system, the council collectively has the power.”

According to the Village of Marvin’s website, the municipality would not hire a manager, but rather, the Village Administrator’s title would change to Village Manager. The current Administrator is Christina Amos.

The second amendment proposal was to either allow or deny the Mayor to vote on all matters.

Marvin voters were against allowing the mayor to vote. Residents voted “no” by a slight margin of 50.69%, according to the NC State Board of Elections. The difference was just 48 votes (1,751 to 1,703)

Back in October of 2018, the Enquirer-Journal reported there was a charter amendment referendum on the ballot for Marvin residents to vote on — either granting or refusing Mayor Joe Pollino the ability to vote on all matters.

Two years ago, voters rejected the proposed amendment change.

As a result of Tuesday’s referendum, Marvin’s mayor will not vote on all matters. The only time the Marvin mayor will be allowed to vote is if there is a tie vote between council members.

In the article from 2018, Pollino was quoted as saying, “Any way you slice it, the mayor either has no say, meaning that 4-0 vote, it passes, 3-1 it passes, 2-2 vote — I get to make the deciding decision. Regardless, it does not affect really any of my voting.”

Mayor Pollino was re-elected in 2019. His term ends in 2021.

According to the Village of Marvin’s website, amendments to the charter were proposed because of the size of the municipality. Marvin was incorporated 26 years ago, when there were 274 citizens. Today, more than 7,000 residents call Marvin home, per the website.

“The Council believes this growth warrants changes for greater effectiveness and efficiencies,” the website states.