Thoughts on Lake Park’s Future

This was posted by Diane Bernhard on April 20, 2012 at 12:04 am  on the blog’s “Town Leadership” page comment section. I’m not sure how many of you had an opportunity to read Diane’s thoughts, so I’m reposting them.

She said:

By now, those of us who were at the Town Meeting (4/18/12) or who viewed it on TV have had some time to think about it. Certainly, my head is spinning with the thoughts of the great opportunity that opens before us… We have the chance to help the people we elected choose a new Town Manager for our community!

This is a very complicated and tricky undertaking. Shall we be guided by the back-lash of our disgust with the high-handness of the former management policies? Shall we use this opportunity to make sure that such things never happen again — and thereby risk the chance of taking out our anger and frustration on some underserving new Manager? Or will we align ourselves with the current big business practice of over-rewarding executives for just adequate job performance? What are just and good perks for a job well done, anyway? Where is the line between ‘just and good’ and fostering an undeserved attitude of entitlement? This is a tricky business, indeed!

Last night seemed a shaky beginning… I was surprised to discover that we had not yet reached a concensus about such things as: Should the new TM be required to live in Lake Park? What qualities should we be looking for in a new TM? Those on the dais were (understandibly) quiet about a proposed salary. I agree that such things should be left for individual negotiations. But, does anyone know what is the actual going rate for such a position in a town like ours? The cover letters written by the job applicants seem to indicate the position calls for $100,000 yearly, plus perks. Apparently, we can afford this, since we paid it to the last Town Manager…

Our Town Officials are being guided in these efforts by a Mr. Bressler, a consultant and member of an orginization (I’m sorry, the name escapes me at the moment.) made up of past Town Managers and similar executives who volunteer their time and expertise — at no charge — to towns in situations like ours. We have much to thank him for! I hope that our officials take his advice and find ways to use it in NEW AND INVENTIVE ways. We have the opportunity to break away from ‘middle of the road town management’ and do something fresh and original here.

But, I got off the point… Perhaps we all don’t want something fresh and original. Maybe just plain old good management is what we need. Whatever…. It’s simple. If we don’t give voice our opinions we can’t expect to be heard.


What do the rest of you think?