With the approaching retirement of Burghal Administrator Alan Tandy, abounding (myself included) accept appropriate this as a advantageous time to alter our city’s anatomy of government.
Our choices are either the council-manager anatomy or the mayor-council form. According to our city’s website, we currently achieve beneath the council-manager anatomy in which “the burghal board oversees the city’s accepted administration, adopts action and sets the budget; the board appoints a able burghal administrator to conduct circadian authoritative operations; and the ambassador is adopted by all burghal voters for a four-year appellation with basal authority, basal bacon and basal votes (only to breach a tie — a attenuate occurrence) — additional ‘ceremonial purposes.’”
This is a amalgam anatomy because the acceptable council-manager anatomy includes alternative of the ambassador from amid adopted board associates on a alternating basis, not adopted by burghal voters. (Kern County’s Board of Supervisors follows this acceptable form.) This amalgam is good! It implies the anatomy is advised for Bakersfield’s different needs.
An adopted ambassador is archetypal of the mayor-council form, with either anemic or (usually) able admiral accepted to the mayor.
(In the acumen of some, we accept had a able administrator anatomy of government. Others disagree, as do I.)
From a business perspective, austere omissions are found. Most accessible is the absence of mission, eyes and ethics statements — all capital administration elements of any organization, accessible or private. (The County of Kern has mission and eyes statements but clearly no ethics statement.)
More attenuate is the council’s focus on burghal ordinances, acquiescence with accompaniment statutes, etc. However, that doesn’t beggarly burghal administration should not additionally focus on a cardinal plan, viz., not alone accept mission, eyes and ethics statements but additionally abiding cardinal goals additional anniversary operational objectives.
Kern County has adopted both abiding cardinal goals as able-bodied as assorted anniversary operational objectives to achieve anniversary cardinal goal.
However, none is measurable. None is time-bound. Anniversary should be both. (Unlike operational objectives, abiding cardinal goals about are added qualitative than quantitative.)
What a cardinal plan adds is the alarmingly important angle of abstracted leadership.
Our burghal board is perceived by abounding to be reactively focused on accepted challenges and controversies, which is its role, but the board is not focused on its circumstantial charge to anticipate “from 30,000 feet” what is arising aloof over the border for our burghal in agreement of opportunities, problems, threats, etc.
This enables the board to proactively acknowledge to such challenges.
No one in our association wants our burghal to absence important opportunities, nor to abate (if not eliminate) problems and threats advancing bottomward the pike.
At the aforementioned time, none of us wants our ambassador and board associates to get bogged bottomward in micromanagement of burghal staff. Such “ground level” issues are for the burghal administrator and burghal departments to abode — aural burghal board policies, of course. Should an affair appear that is not already addressed by board policies, it should be referred for board approval afore implementation.
This is a above acumen amid administration and management. We accept our ambassador and burghal board associates as leaders to anticipate and abode our needs and opportunities beheld from 30,000 feet. Our burghal administrator is appointed by the burghal board to abode operational issues at arena level.
Including abstracted administration aural the council’s focus is what is needed.
Therefore, there’s no charge to alter our borough charter, nor alike to accept any new ordinance. However, a new board action may be bare to crave a cardinal planning action to be conducted and monitored anniversary year.
On this basis, our city’s amalgam anatomy of government with a “weak mayor” seems to be the able model.
Any new burghal administrator should fit in appropriately well. A “strong mayor”— and its added costs — charge not be budgeted.
The accession of academic cardinal planning should not alone accomplish our city’s accepted anatomy of government added able and advantageous but additionally proactive and visionary!
Now is the moment to booty this analytical footfall forward!
At the aforementioned time, every business in Kern County should do no less.
John Pryor, CPCU, ARM, AAI, AIS is a administration adviser with CSU Bakersfield’s Small Business Development Center. Added advice is accessible at www.csub.edu/sbdc.
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