Today is Thursday, July 24, 2014

Department heads should manage departments, not city council

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To the Editor:

This letter is for Mayor Philip Craighead and the Lebanon City Council: During the past months, I have read numerous reviews of the council meetings.  They disturb me greatly.     In any successful business, the department heads should prepare a budget for their department and present it to the manager. The manager should then review these budgets with each department head and determine an acceptable number. The budget totals should then be presented to the board which may approve, reject, or modify the dollar amount. It is then up to the manager to go back to each department head and tell him the amount he has to work with. I think this likens to the Council, Mayor and City Department heads.     If there is insufficient money in each department’s budget to maintain current employment level, the department manager should be the one to determine who stays and who goes (within the guidelines of city employment policy).     For the council to make determinations or even recommendations as to who is to go and who is to stay is asinine to say the least. The department head knows what has to be done, who can do the work and how much money he has to do it. If he cannot do this, it is time for that department head to go and a new department head to be installed by the manager – not the council.    I have heard comments such as “I have run a successful business and know how to do it.” As a manager for many years, I can assure that person that they did not run a successful business with a board of directors nitpicking every decision. A manager cannot manage if he does not have the authority to do so and that is exactly what the council is doing – taking away that authority. I have also heard that a councilman has said that the reason they are doing the mayor’s job is that he wasn’t doing it. I ask, how can he do the job when every decision he tries to make is second-guessed by one or more of the council? 

Mayor Craighead has run a successful business and I believe was elected because that was what the voters wanted, a business man, just as they did in several previous mayoral elections.     I really believe most of the current problems are a carryover from the “get Fox” syndrome on the part of many council members. We did not elect Mayor Craighead to be micromanaged by a bunch of childish “mayor wannabes.”       If this type of behavior and attitude on the part of the council continues, I suggest you change the place of your meetings to the childcare room of the Jimmy Floyd Center. It would be a more appropriate setting. Charles NiverLebanon

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