City of Douglas Mayor and Council
Updated Jan. 10, 2020
The City of Douglas operates as a municipal government, with a mayor and six council members. The mayor and council make decisions about local ordinances (laws) and administrative appointments. They hire the city manager, who runs the city on a day-to-day basis. It is the mayor and council who approve things like whether or not your street should be repaved this year or how much money goes into services like the public library and animal shelter or how much you pay in city sales tax. If it involves money, land, or city infrastructure, the mayor and council will have some say.
- The mayor is elected at-large, which means all eligible voters in Douglas cast their ballots for mayoral candidates.
- Mayors are elected to four-year terms and have a two-term limit.
- The mayor must be at least 25, must have lived in the city for at least three years and must not hold any other elected office for which they are paid a stipend.
- The mayor is paid $300 a month.
Current mayor: Robert Uribe, elected in May 2016.
- The six council members are elected by city residents for four-year terms with two-term limits. Council members are elected by voters from their respective wards.
- There are six wards in the City of Douglas (which does not include Pirtleville and Bay Acres).
- Each ward is represented by a council member who is at least 21, has lived within that ward for at least one year, has lived in the city for at least three years and does not hold any other elected office in which they’re paid a stipend.
- Council members are paid $200 a month.
Current Council Members
- Ward 1 Margaret Morales, elected for her first term in 2008.
- Ward 2 Mitch Lindemann, elected in 2017. Previously served on council from 2006-2014.
- Ward 3 Donald Huish, elected in 2017.
- Ward 4 Ray Shelton, elected in 2017.
- Ward 5 Cesar Soto, elected in 2017.
- Ward 6 Jose Grijalva, elected in 2017.
How the Mayor and Council Run the City
- The mayor and council members have equal voting power to create, pass or disapprove local laws, ordinances and resolutions that govern the city.
- When a citizen has a question, concern or complaint related to city matters it’s typical of them to contact their council member. Council members refer to the residents living within their ward as their constituents.
- The mayor is responsible for appointing a vice mayor. The vice mayor serves as acting mayor whenever the elected mayor is absent from a council meeting.
- Current vice mayor, appointed in 2018, is Ward 3 councilman Donald Huish.
- The mayor and council, as a whole, are responsible for appointing administrative roles at the City like city manager, treasurer, city clerk, city magistrate and city attorney.
- The mayor appoints the members of the various city boards, commissions and committees. However, the council votes to approve or reject those appointments.
- The city manager, who reports directly to the council, is responsible for implementing council policies and leading the rest of City staff in accordance with the directives of the council.
- City managers are also in charge of community, council and employee relations and the city’s financial practices.
- “As the administrative head of the municipal government, the city manager is responsible for the human assets, employee compensation, training and benefits, including hiring and dismissal of all employees, except for the city magistrate, city clerk, city treasurer, and city attorney who are appointed by the mayor and council.” City of Douglas Budget Book, published 2019
City Manager: Jerene Watson, appointed July 2019; previously interim city manager, January-July 2019, slated to retire July 2020
Deputy City Manager, Dawn Prince, hired October 2019. This position is not an appointed administrator and was hired by the current City Manager.
City Treasurer: Luis Pedroza, appointed 2012
City Attorney: Juan Pablo Flores, appointed 2008
Interim City Clerk: Alma Andrade, appointed January 2020
- The mayor and council can only discuss city business in a public meeting setting. In fact, more than three council members can’t be in one location at any time (even a backyard barbeque) because it would be in direct violation of the City Charter and State of Arizona Open Meeting Law.
- A regular council meeting is held every second Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m.
- The Open Meeting Law requires the city clerk to post a full meeting agenda, with background information about what will be discussed at the meeting at least one full week in advance.
- In December 2019 the City implemented the AgendaQuick system, an automated system designed to improve communications with constituents. Upcoming and previous agendas are posted to the City of Douglas website.
- At the beginning of each council meeting, any member of the public can speak about anything. People sometimes bring up important issues that aren’t on the agenda for that day’s council meeting, air a complaint or promote an upcoming community event. It’s an opportunity for the public to speak up if they feel like they aren’t being heard by the council or city administration during regular business hours. The council usually does not respond to these comments during the meeting.
- Council meetings typically run between an hour and two and a half hours long.
- During council meetings, background information and recommendations are given by the city manager, city attorney and city finance director.
- Based on those reports, the council approves of the city’s monthly expenditures and revenues, they discuss, approve or reject ordinances or resolutions, and approve or disapprove of City land sales, donations, grant funding, and liquor licenses.
- There must be at least three council members and the mayor, or vice mayor, present to create a quorum.
- A simple majority is required to pass a motion.
- City of Douglas Website
- City of Douglas Charter, Adopted May 18, 1982, Latest Amendment May 2018.
- City of Douglas 2019-2020 Budget Book, Adopted Oct. 2019