The City of McPherson is organized with a three-person pure commission form of government and a city administrator. Pursuant to Charter Ordinance, the City Commission has a Mayor, Commissioner of Streets and Utilities and Commissioner of Public Facilities and Lands. Each member of the governing body is elected city-wide and is directly over specific City Departments. The commissioners are department heads and charged with the oversight of their departments. However, for the governing body to act, such action must be taken in a public meeting and with a majority vote.
The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) of the City of McPherson is a separate wholly owned entity of the City and is not part of the commission form of government except for one commissioner on a rotating basis sitting as an ex officio non-voting member on the Board of Public Utilities.
After the November 2017 election, Mayor Tom Brown requested a study to explore options in response to public concerns about the size of the current commission structure. There has been vague and undefined discussion regarding increasing the size of the governing body from three to five.
City Attorney Jeff Houston conducted a preliminary legal analysis of the way the City of McPherson, Kansas, is organized and the possibilities including some of the advantages and disadvantages of altering the current structure of McPherson municipal government. Houston presented his finding at a public meeting on April 30, 2018.
City Governing Structure in Kansas
Preliminary Legal Analysis - 4/16/18
Commission Reorganization Evaluation by Mayor Brown - 5/21/18
Where Small Town America Is Thriving
An article covering demographic, social & economic trends
By Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill
"For No. 5 McPherson, Kansas, its 37% expansion in industrial jobs over the past decade has been driven by plastics, energy and equipment manufacturing, aided by low energy prices (it's located in the nation's "wind tunnel," ideal for wind energy generation)."