What began in the late 19th, early 20th century as a good government reform movement still holds value for us today. The county administrator/commission form of government began as a result of a progressive movement that saw the previous strong mayor/ council form of government as an opportunity for corruption and influence peddling. The second strand for reform was the concept of professional administration for municipalities in much the way that business operated with a CEO and a board of directors. In addition a professional administrator was seen as someone who could serve as a buffer between county employees and elected officials, allowing those employees to get on with their jobs without undo meddling from elected officials.
Today by far most municipalities and counties across the United States operate quite successfully with a professional administrator appointed by the commission and a commission elected by the voters. This allows for a separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches of government in addition to providing professional management. Admittedly not always is the administrator a perfect fit for a particular municipality, but when the fit is a good one, all the constituents are well served.
The idea that three elected citizens with little or no training in public administration can serve as professional directors of the county’s business is whimsical at best and can be downright damaging to county efficiency and employee morale. I would urge my fellow citizens to give the reforms enacted in the previous charter review amendments an opportunity to succeed and reject the current attempt of Charter Review Propositions 1 and 2 to return to a flawed system the voters chose to improve back in 2005.
For more information on why we, the voters, should Reject Propositions 1 and 2, please go to www.votenocharterrecview1and2.com.