Saturday, February 02, 2013

Council views on Town Manager's CCM vote

In a January 17th post I raised an issue related to the unelected Town Manager who, during the prior week, went beyond his authority at a CCM meeting in which a vote was taken on gun control.

Following the vote, on January 16, the MRJ printed this article in which the unelected TM opines on the measures:

I think that they were very reasonable

This caught my attention because the elected Council had not deliberated gun control during a public meeting. So I posted the following question intended for elected Council members:

Did you publicly, or privately, either individually or collectively, direct the TM to advocate for this?

And thanks to the press, we're beginning to understand the views of elected Council members, particularly on the extent to which the unelected TM has authority to speak as a representative of Cheshire. The MRJ kicked off our understanding with this January 17 piece:

Ruocco (R) - “It’s frustrating when you get emails from people who are upset. They feel like they’ve gotten sidestepped"

Flynn-Harris (D) - said Milone shouldn’t have cast the vote if it was viewed as representing town government’s position on gun policy.

Talbot (D) - had no issue with Milone’s vote, saying the town manager is asked to represent the town at CCM.

The Cheshire Patch largely rehashed the MRJ talking points, but the WRA added some new insights on the unelected TMs authority to use his office to advocate his own personal political agenda without any guidance or direction from elected Council members:

Ecke (D) - sees "both sides"

Slocum (R) - the Councilman named in the WRA piece "Manager chided for vote"

Separate and apart from the above news pieces:

Sima (R) - agrees with Ruocco and Slocum that the TM overstepped his authority

Schrumm (R) - agrees with Talbot that this vote represented the personal view of the TM, not the view of the Town

Falvey (R) - unknown

Nichols (R) - unknown

Interesting to me is that these responses regarding the TM's vote do not fall along party lines.

But perhaps the most telling comment so far came from our northern border via the MRJ:

Southington Town Manager Garry Brumback was present at the meeting but abstained from voting. “My job is not to participate in policy discussions,” he said. “My job is to implement.”

Tim White


CT Curmudgeon said...

Thanks for highlighting this issue. A man has got to know his limitations.

Tim White said...

And the Southington TM knew his limitations.