The conversation surrounding a town manager has been discussed for decades. The topic has been debated, presented in public comment and researched by past Charter Revision Committees, but it either doesn’t get recommended to the Board of Selectmen (BOS) or has been rejected by the BOS. The Charter Revision Committee (CRC) is in the process of reviewing our Town Charter and the topic of a Town Manager (TM) doesn’t seem to be getting the traction I think it deserves.
A Town Manager would bring consistency, efficiency, professionalism and have the qualifications to run a municipality. A TM would work collaboratively with our boards and commissions; we wouldn’t have to lose any of our dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers. A TM would promote accountability and collaboration across all facets of town governance and would help limit town liabilities and lead to cost savings. Suffield can still retain its small town charm while being professionally managed by a TM.
Other CT towns maintain a town meeting form of government with a First Selectman (FS) and BOS while having a TM to assist with daily management. (i.e. Andover and Columbia) Think of a TM like a Superintendent working for the Board of Education or Police Chief working for the Police Commission.
This is our chance. I believe the concept of a town administrator should be researched, developed and brought to the town for a referendum vote, so the highest number of people can weigh in on what they want. Reach out to the CRC to share your thoughts.
By Krystal Holmes