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Thread: Chief elected officials in the weeds

  1. #1
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Aug 2005
    in a meeting

    Chief elected officials in the weeds

    How far into your day, or other department's day, are the chief elected officials - that is weighing in or managing your operations

    for example we are building a new bathroom at one of our beaches and the select board is weighing in on fixtures, how many stalls and the like - it's tough

    I feel like this is more prevalent in a small town than a bedroom commuter suburb or a city

    what say you - how deep does your elected officials go in managing your day to day life?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
    Jan 2009
    Remote command post at local bar
    Ours like to think they are, but all they do is stop by and BS with the road crews. Although they LOVE to micromanage the health department about what contraceptives it can hand out. We have one guy campaigning that says he'll make being elected a 40 hour job and would most likely spend a lot of time out with the PW department. The road superintendent says he's got plenty of work for him.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  3. #3
    Jul 2015
    I work for a small community (less than 10k population) and our elected officials do not micromanage or involve themselves in the routine business of staff. They set the policy and then trust staff to carry it out. For instance, they recently approved the concept plan for a multi-million dollar park. They approved the general components that will go into the park (tennis courts, nature area, playground, etc.), but it's up to staff to determine all the details. The elected officials don't get involved in how big the restrooms will be, what color the buildings will be painted, what type of playground equipment is purchased, etc.

    They don't meddle in personnel issues, department operations, project management, or other routine business.

    I've worked for other communities where that was not the case, so I recognize and appreciate how fortunate we are.

  4. #4
    I think it is a function of the City/County manager. I'm in a small town and the last manager was good at keeping the Council from micro managing. The next guy almost invited the Council to get deep into the weeds . The current manager is somewhere in between. I also have worked in bigger cities and have found the same.

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