'We have met the enemy and he is us.'
The city council makes policy and the city staff implements policy.
At least that's the way it's supposed to work.
An organization chart or as it's more commonly called, org chart, is a diagram that shows a reporting or relationship hierarchy - it shows who is supposed to be boss.
An org chart of our city government might look something like this.
There's been some restructuring of staff responsibilities since the chart was created, but the point is still the same, "Citizens of Sanger" are at the top of the chart.
We can see that, on the org chart, the council is above the city manager so the city manager is supposed to report to the council.
The city manager is hired by the council to see that efforts of other employees, lower on the chart, are focused on accomplishing goals and implementing policies created by the council, higher on the chart.
The council is the board of directors.
The city manager is the chief executive officer.
The city manager and the city attorney work for the council and all other employees work for the city manager.
The "Citizens of Sanger" are responsible for the results good or bad produced by the council.
The council is responsible for the results good or bad produced by the city manager.
The city manager is responsible for the results good or bad produced by other city employees.
The point of this brief - very simplified - civics lesson is that recently the tail has been wagging the dog. The city staff - perhaps directed by the city manager - certainly with his tacit approval - has been making major Measure S policy decisions like "No more grants to nonprofits that have been funded in the past," and "Grant money available to nonprofits each year will be reduced from $125,000 to $50,000."
The council at its May 30 special meeting appropriately ignored without comment both staff created policies and funded a couple of nonprofits that have received grants in the past and bumped up the amount of Measure S money that will be available to nonprofits for the next couple of years.
Neither city manager Tim Chapa nor councilmember Humberto Garza were happy.
Chapa wants less Measure S money to go to nonprofits so he has more to support his fiction that the general fund budget is balanced.
Garza, on the other hand, wants even more Measure S money to go to nonprofits.
"Citizens of Sanger" should be happy because the council maybe finally figured out who is supposed to be creating and who is supposed to be implementing policy - who is boss. Maybe.
There are not a lot of "Citizens of Sanger" happy about the council scheduling an important rezoning public hearing this evening head to head with two 8th grade promotion ceremonies. (See the story on the front page of today's Herald.)
Shae Hill is one of the unhappy citizens, "Many people including myself have a conflict. We expressed our concerns about this long ago, yet nothing ever changed. We showed up at the special meeting but there was no public forum on the agenda. We were told to call. Nothing changed. We were told to create a petition which we did. Nothing changed. Then people wonder why citizens don't get involved. It is very discouraging. I will still be there for the beginning. I hope others choose to show and represent for those of us who cannot be there due to promotion!"
Amen, Shae. Well said.
"We have met the enemy and he is us."
- Pogo Possum
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