The prior Board of Trustees approved and the current Board reaffirmed Ordinance 97, which under Michigan law allows the township to appoint a Township Manager/Superintendent. This results in very defined segregation of duties between the Supervisor and the Township Manager. In business, segregation of duties is considered Best Practice.
This segregation is important for the township as it allows the Board of Trustees to appoint a Manager who has the experience, knowledge and skills in local municipal administration. The special skills demanded are very board and require understanding the areas of law, labor, and employment, purchasing and providing exceptional services to our residents.
Elected officials however typically campaign and are elected based on their political affiliation and Policy direction not their administrative capabilities.
I believe that our residents are better served by a non-partisan administration and that our employees be hired based on their merits rather political affiliation and or cronyisms. Having a politician run the day to day operations of the Township may open this up as a possibility.
It is currently the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to monitor and review the overall performance of the Township Manager. If the Township Manager does not meet the expectation of the township, it has the authority to replace him/her. If the elected Supervisor does not meet the expectation of the township typically the only recourse is a long, costly and divisive recall campaign.
The Township Manager position also offers continuity and support in transition should there be a change in our elected officials and provides continuity needed to train internal candidates for promotional opportunities based on merit and not political affiliation. Hopefully this results in retention of employees by spanning administrations and hence building depth of experience over time.
Currently all elected positions in the township are part-time. By continuing this practice it provides all residents an opportunity to participate in serving the community and expands the pool of competent candidates.
I prefer to have a professional administrator rather than a professional politician and therefore strongly support continuing with the current form of township government.
John Giannangeli – Oakland Township Trustee