Friday, October 12, 2007

Should Our Department Heads Live In The City?

Part of the consideration CA-03-07, a charter amendment dealing with the designation of acting directors, had to do with whether or not department heads should be required to live in the city.

Currently, there is no such requirement save for the city administrator, and even that will likely we lifted in the near future.

Should we worry about this? Probably not--we have plenty of other things to worry about. In theory, our elected officials scrutinize the performance of the department heads and can take the appropriate measures to ensure they are doing their jobs--in fact, the charter amendment that just passed improved the city council's power to do this. If we don't like the way our elected officials are auditing, we can vote them out.

I realize that we, the people, lose a degree of control because there is a middle man between ourselves and the department heads from whom we require adequate performance. But you and I don't know what goes on day-to-day, and we shouldn't have to.

Now if you were to say that we need to change our charter to give the council more power and the mayor less power, perhaps by having the council hire a city manager, you would be on to something. But that is a post for another day, and since the charter review isn't until 2010, I have plenty of time to figure out just what it is I want to say.

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