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Does PTC staff really see Council as boss?

The following seems trivial, but the unspoken and unaddressed question of the relationship between the Peachtree City Council and the city staff may make it of interest.

At the Feb. 21, 2013, meeting of the Peachtree City Council, Councilman Eric Imker suggested that certain reports now presented monthly by the Police, Fire, and Public Works departments be presented less often.

Council member Vanessa Fleisch asked if the information was available monthly even though it might not be presented monthly to the council.

Per the draft minutes, “[City Manager, Mr.] Pennington said that internal reports were received in a different format that was more management-oriented ....”

Two things jumped out. First, that these reports had to be presented in two forms: one for “management” and one for the council. This duplication of effort certainly results in higher cost in terms of staff time if nothing else. The second thing is the question: does the staff not consider council to be included in “management”?

The council reached consensus that these reports would be presented to council quarterly.

Question remains: Will those reports be formatted for council differently than for “management”?

Is anyone looking at this question, and the reason the reports have to be in two formats? (Does anyone even recognize the question?)

Does the city staff consider the City Council to be “managers”?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Paul Lentz, curmudgeon

Peachtree City, Ga.

Location: 

Comments

Mike King's picture

Why would anyone believe our city employees look to our city council as adults, much less managers? Shouting matches, name calling, public ridicule given to those with opposing views, and the list could go on.

Did we not have a fire chief retire after blatantly harassing a female subordinate, a police chief bringing a North Floridian buddy to town as his assistant? Does anyone really believe there was insufficient talent locally?

This city could very well have a most effective Council, only if we get five elected members who are prepared to leave their egos at the door and take responsibility for their actions. What this Council lacks is leadership, and it must start with attaining respect that must first be earned.

abeautifulday4us's picture

I agree, Mr. King.

I suggest that all departments operate on 1 system and all information is pulled through City Hall servers. Data entered into an agreed upon information reporting system. Not sure Peachtree City ever invested in a central computer system.
Consolidate Fire and Police to 1 Public Safety Executive and then, with each monthly report, have each department head prepare a management overview.

Finance
Public Safety
Public Works
HR
Legal
and any other consolidated department reporting directly to Dr. Pennington.

Dr. Pennington reviews, make adjustments with each department head, then he puts his summary on top of the consolidated report.

Each department head signs off. Each department is audited at least 2x a year.

Train the department heads to operate as department heads which includes management reporting.

Run it like a business! Our Council is the "Board of Directors", and if they don't have time to review it, then elect people who get it and review the reports every month. Every month!

No one expects micro managing but monthly reviews are necessary, especially since the departments clearly need a little more direction in cost cutting and following EEOC guidelines.

I have brought up the idea of a dashboard, which is what you are describing. We need to finish the IT upgrades, then we can move forward on that.

abeautifulday4us's picture

Again, we need an outside investigation on what is going on at City Hall.

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