Town should not revert back to town administrator form of government

Town should not revert back to town administrator form of government

During my administrative service in government from 1980 to 1995, I served in three capacities: as elected council member, elected town administrator, and interim appointed town manager – until a permanent manager could be found.

As the town and its budget grew, so did its necessity for a more professional service of employees. For this reason, in 1992, I gladly worked to abolish the recently established position of town administrator in favor of an appointed, professional town manager. The current charter requires that the manager be selected by the Town Council based on qualifications. It provided service for the good of the town rather than for the good of the party. The system has worked for the past 25 years.

Some members of the Charter Review Commission are currently proposing to eliminate the manager’s position and regress to a town administrator form of government. The only requirements are that the person be a town resident and a qualified voter. Formal training is not required – just be a resident. Most egregious, however, is that it decreases the power of the five-member council and transfers it to one person – the administrator.

The current five-member Town Council is elected by the voters of Smithfield whereby the members of the council review, debate, and vote on matters presented before them. This system works and has worked since the establishment of the Town Council in 1730.

Please contact your council members and ask them to vote against this proposal. We do not want only one person running our town.

Gloria P. Nerney