Milton - full time issues - part time solutions

February 1, 2013

The town of Milton is fortunate to have qualified individuals who serve us
both on town council and administratively in our various town departments and committees.

As our town election approaches Saturday, March 2, Milton voters have
to examine and think about how our town deals with day to day issues and
conflicts that must be handled in an immediate, crisp, concise and
deliberative manner.

The present functionality of the way in which the town operates must be
examined with an eye to first, understanding what is broken and second, moving forward toward a plausible solution.

There have been many issues that have understandably caused great angst among some of our townspeople. These folks care about how our government operates. One can only go to town council meetings or read the letters to the editor to see that.

One of the observations that have been noted points to comments that the
circular loop that is the flow of information within the town government is
somehow broken. To the casual observer it may appear that all parties in town
government are constantly up to date with the blizzard of correspondence that
is presented to them routinely and daily.

But the true nature of today’s instant communication is that very few folks
can be plugged-in all the time. Between all the communication methods
(you name, snail mail, voicemail, social media, etc.) it is hard to
keep abreast with all the information anyone needs to function at a
responsible level.

Hard, but not impossible!
There is a current conversation in town that somehow having a full time town
manager is the pathway to having a town that will run at an optimum level to
achieve success. I do believe that Milton is extremely fortunate to have such
a capable civil servant on our town payroll and at service to the town needs.

Our town manager is a true asset to Milton. His professional focus and
creative energy would be difficult to replace if his office were vacated even
for a short period of time. Our town manager is always available, but he does
have the right to use legitimate time away from the office the same as any of
us do.

The next town mayor and town council must come to terms with the way in which our town government functions on a ‘real world’ basis. How will they agree to function effectively when the full time town manager is not available due to legitimate vacation, illness, or approved meetings and conferences?

It would be helpful if the next town mayor and town council consciously face
the inadvertent and unintentional but absolutely real gap that is caused by
having a full time town manager and a part time mayor and town council.

That is not a disparaging observation by any means. It is the topic of
conversation that takes place every day in Milton. How do we streamline the
process of functional, effective communication between a full time town
manager (and administrative staff) and the town mayor and town council members who have other non-town responsibility?

The next town mayor and town council will have an excellent starting point to
examine how they will successfully and effectively function, given dealing
with full time problems while having part-time public servants.

R. Miller

  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

    To submit a letter to the editor for publishing, send an email to Letters must be signed and include a telephone number for verification. Please keep letters to 650 words or fewer.  We reserve the right to edit for content and length.

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