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Posted December 15, 2011 | comments 8 Comments

Government restructuring proposed

Town manager's plan calls for creating assistant position, shifts within departments

By Kim Walter -- kwalter@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- Reorganization might be coming to Front Royal, as Town Manager Steve Burke has proposed a few changes to its departments.

At a meeting last month, Burke proposed a few ideas to the Town Council to shuffle responsibilities, as well as reclassify existing positions.

Within the Electrical Services Department, Burke would like to create two divisions. One would deal with operations like contractor oversight, developmental dealings with subdivisions and plan reviews, and would require a manager and assistant manger. The other division would be responsible for maintenance for town facilities, and would be headed by a crew supervisor.

Burke would also like to combine Public Works and Environmental Services by downgrading one of the department director positions to a management position. That manager would oversee horticulture, building and grounds and solid waste management divisions.

One of the biggest changes Burke proposed is the creation of an assistant town manager position.

"The position would be beneficial in my absence. The person could continue operations of the town and be an identified individual to go to," he said.

If created, the position would take over daily administrative operations and several other departments. According to Burke, many communities have a similar position that is working in their favor.

"We still have a lot of discussing to do with the council," he added. "It's a lot of dramatic changes, and we want to make them comfortable."

Because of the holiday season, not much has happened beyond the proposal phase.

Mayor Tim Darr said, "At this point, we just have a basic snapshot."

Among other questions the council will have for Burke, Darr listed functionality of the new roles.

"What will these new positions fix?" he asked.

Burke knows that there is much more discussion to come, and said not to expect any changes this year.

"The reorganization is still in its infancy, but I'm looking forward to improvements," he

8 Comments | Leave a comment

    I am sure Mr. Burke will elaborate more on how much this Reorganization will cost the tax payers of Front Royal. In fact that I am sure that the thought of costing the tax payers more money during this very hard difficult time in our Town's Sate's and Nation's History is first and foremost on the mind of Our Town Manager!

    And as for the Mayor's questions I am sure the thought of how much this is going to cost the tax payers is on his mind as well. You can bet the citizens will be watching.

    All of this re-structuring details must be the reason why Mr. Burke hasn't addressed the question of why biosolids disposal costs do not agree with actual calculated costs and are overcharged by $80,000-$100,000. It must be quite complicated figuring out why this is the case as I have been asking for an answer since September of 2011; if it is something that is easy to answer, why the delay? Either way, Mr. Burke has been very uncooperative in answering a very serious town taxpayer question in a reasonable period of time. I, for one would like to know why the town councilman have not addressed this matter.

    Please, please, please, everyone! Patience!

    Can't you plainly see the band is furiously playing away while the Town Manager re-shuffles the cards, the Mayor is donning a Teflon life vest, and the Councilmen are too busy re-arranging the deck chairs? The only thing missing is the clanging of bells so we can practice our fire drill.

    Is that Cicero on the fiddle? Do you smell something burning?

    Mayor Tim Darr said, "At this point, we just have a basic snapshot."
    Wells heres the full picture, $100,000 dollars for assistant town manager search, $100,000 year wage and another $150,000 give or take for the other 3 potitions and what do the town people get? higher taxes $350,000 wasted but hey at least we will have a assistant town manager available when our town manager is not available. Why is it that Winchester just recently did away with there assistant city manager position if this is such a Great idea??? The good ole boys are back at it again!!!

    If there is such a feeling of dissatisfaction about the way things are run in the town, why haven't there been larger attempts to organize the community to vote the offenders out?

    Voter turnout last month was abysmal (about 20%), as it seems to be every year. Yes, town elections aren't in November (thanks to idiotic reasons from those in charge), but it's a good indication of the general APATHY that plagues our town and county.

    If you can't rally enough voters to overcome the 'good old boys' network of voters (more like sheep), no real change will ever come to the area. Power, and the ability to cause CHANGE will merely be passed around between select hands, who don't seem to ever really care about the outright CORRUPTION that we seem to face every year.

    So, if you're upset, don't just complain. Work to ORGANIZE events in the community to RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS of the questionable actions that our elected 'leaders' take all the time.

      Election year is is right at our heels. Right after Christmas and New Years you will have candidates walking around with Petitions asking you to sign so they can be on ballot. When a candidate comes around to ask for your signature ask them to outline their campaign for you. If they say they are not at the phase yet ask them 'why not'? If they are at the phase of collecting signatures then they should have a pretty good idea just why they are running and what their platform is going to be.

      Let the candidates know early that you have the power at every phase of the election process. From Collecting of signatures to get on the ballot to the actual day of voting. And this year talk to your neighbors and friends about actually voting in this years town elections in May. And again, I cannot stress enough show up at council meetings and work sessions and see first hand just how your Town Government does affect your daily lives.

      And get out the vote. The good ole boys are going to be relying on their group of supporters to come out in force. Getting out the vote is going to be important. If anyone wants to serve on the council as a councilman or mayor they should have work hard at it, really really hard. It is time that Front Royal Virginia has a good honest real campaign about the issues. Don't accept generic "For the good of the Town" answers anymore. It is our tax dollars that is at stake. And it is our Daily Lives They are playing around with. Let them know that they are going to have to work for it.

    I have decided to become a town manager, whatever that means. By that I mean I need a job where I can work on my golf swing and putting stroke. By that I mean I will hire an assistant to do all my town manager work for me. By that I mean I will cash the big paycheck. By that I mean I will bask in all the glory and credit for a job well done. By that I mean I will appoint someone to blame my assistant when I do something wrong. By that I mean my assistant will become my personal slave. By that I mean my assistant will enjoy job security. By that I mean you don't fire slaves. By that I mean town managers who can't do the job are expendable.

    Really, really hard.

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