Council and Staff
This is the issue which is central to all of the others.
In the corporate world, management is accountable to the directors who in turn must face the shareholders annually. The directors provide the direction and the oversight. They expect and receive timely and accurate information and use their judgment and business acumen to ensure the corporation prospers. The directors come up with initiatives and directions for staff to follow. And a corporation can only prosper if there is a degree of harmony and unity of purpose in the directors. And any corporation whose directors simply rubber-stamp everything presented to it would soon find itself in the dust-heap of history.
Ideally, a well run municipal corporation should have the same oversight and initiative from the it’s council. Information should be shared equally with all council members. Council should insist that staff give it alternatives (not just a “Staff Recommendation” as is nearly always done in Napanee) and if it recommends one, explain clearly the reasons. Voluminous briefing papers often conceal essential facts. Briefing papers should be succinct but contain all essential information to enable council to appreicate the issues, know the limits of its authority and make a decision.
Moveover, the first duty of staff is to ensure that the municipality and its council act within the limits of it’s legal authority. Staff should know when legal advice is required and ensure that council receives it.
Every citizen of Napanee needs to ask if council and staff recognize these simple duties. And if, as many citizens are whispering, the staff really do run our Town, we need to ask is this by design or have they simply had to assume the job because council itself is so divided? Please let us have your comments on these issues.
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Hubert Hogle 532-3672
Dennis Mills 354-6375
Arthur Ronald 354-4291
We have added six additional directors, John Wilson, Judy Wood, John Stinson, Briane Birney, Suzy Sheltler and Anne Hogle. All residents and taxpayers in Greater Napanee are welcome to become members and all interested parties are welcome to receive our regular newsletters and contribute content to the website. If you are interested in serving as a director, let us know.