Port Orchard Independent


City needs change in government, status

August 23, 2013 · Updated 8:49 AM

The Port Orchard City Council voted 6-1 to place Proposition  No. 1 on the Nov. 5 ballot.

The proposition  will ask the voters to approve a change to a city manager/council form of government and change the city classification from a designated second-class city to a code city.

Why? Changing to a council/manager will improve city government. This change will align roles and responsibilities with the skills necessary to perform effectively. Strong  political leadership from elected city council will set policy and direction.

The professional expertise of a skilled administrator will implement that direction and administer the day-to-day operations of the city. The city manager will be competitively selected from a large applicant pool based on identified skills and experience, not political “electability.”

A professional city manager and an effective staff can identify grant and bonding opportunities, streamline city operations, introduce technology improvements, recruit new businesses and plan for the fiscal health of our community.  Staff turnover and program instability with every new administration will be minimized.

Vision, leadership and attained long-term goals will be enhanced. City Council can focus on setting the overall direction for the city.  Stability and consistency are essential to business and community development.  A professional city manager will provide that stability and becoming a noncharter code city is long overdue.

Of the 199 cities eligible to become code cities, 190 have done so, and none has changed back.

The change will allow the city more flexibility to take actions, unless specifically disallowed by state law. Now we are restricted to actions allowed by the state legislature.

This is a crucial time for our city. Vote for these changes on Nov. 5.

Richard L. Davis | Port Orchard

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