Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Just what we need, another survey

The survey that came stuffed in the newspaper today is six pages long, copied on single sides. It wants to know what criteria Village Council should be looking for in the hiring of a new Village Manager. Don't the council members understand that they were elected to exercise their judgment on our behalf? If they hold a referendum on every little thing they do, nothing will ever get done. They should use their best judgment and pick the most qualified candidate. Next thing you know they are going to hold an open meeting and have the villagers ask their own questions. You can bet on it!

Here are the categories of questions:

  • Education - rank in order of how educated the VM should be.
  • How much experience - rank in order how experienced the VM should be.
  • Type of experience - rank in order the type of experience the VM should have.
  • Professional Style - I can't even begin...
  • Personal Characteristics - another loaded question.
  • Challenges the village is facing - a long list to be prioritized (this may be the only legitimate question). Not only is this list long, it is downright depressing.
Click here for a PDF copy of the survey.

Here's my response:
Hire the nicest person with the highest relevant degree and the most experience in Village Management who can stand to deal with a village council that has lots and lots of ideas, but hesitates to take responsibility, that we can get for the money, and who isn't daunted by our considerable list of challenges.

This from the official village Website FAQ list:

Council-Manager Government FAQ

The Council-Manager Form of Government: Answers to Your Questions (as taken from the ICMA publication of the same title)

What is the council-manager plan, which is used in so many local governments?

The council-manager plan is the system of local government that combines the strong political leadership of elected officials in the form of a council or other governing body, with the strong managerial experience of an appointed local government manager. The plan establishes a representative system where all power is concentrated in the elected council as a whole and where the council hires a professionally trained manager to oversee the delivery of public services.

Is it a responsive form of government?

In council-manager government, council members are the leaders and policy makers in the community elected to represent various segments of the community and to concentrate on policy issues that are responsive to citizens' needs and wishes. The manager is appointed by council to carry out policy and ensure that the entire community is being served. If the manager is not responsive to the council's wishes, the council has authority to terminate the manager at any time. In that sense, a manager's responsiveness is tested daily.

What is the function of the council?

The council is the legislative body; its members are the community's decision makers. Power is centralized in the elected council, which approves the budget and determines the tax rate, for example. The council also focuses on the community's goals, major projects, and such long-term considerations as community growth, land use development, capital improvement plans, capital financing and strategic planning, rather than the administrative details. It hires a professional manager to carry out the administrative responsibilities and supervises the manager's performance.

(I have bolded the relevant phrases.)


JafaBrit's Art said...

I don't know don't you think we should discuss this, maybe have a town hall meeting to discuss the discussion about it cough!

Virgil Hervey said...

Breakout groups..?

I think we better conduct a study first. Let's hire a consultant!