I was pleased to hear the discussion and independent viewpoints of Clifton Forge Town Council members during their most recent work session on April 7 regarding the town’s policies and procedures for credit card usage.
This was made possible by a clear presentation of facts by town staff.
What struck me about the discussion and subsequent decision was a willingness by four members to challenge the remaining member, rather than deferring to, perfectly illustrating that though our town charter recognizes the major with ceremonial status, the mayor “… as a member of the council shall have the same powers and duties as other members of the council … .” No more, no less.
Certainly the current environment we find ourselves in with the C0VID 19 pandemic demands the highest level of leadership by our town government and makes us all realize the obvious: Dealing with problems we can easily see is one thing-others can appear seemingly out of nowhere and challenge our community in ways we could never anticipate.
It is during these trials that the necessity of a strong town council working hand in hand with a competent town manager becomes so clear and urgent.
Regarding the council’s responsibility with the town manager position, our charter is crystal clear.
“The manager shall be appointed solely on the basis of executive and administrative qualifications in the profession of management and administration”.
A thought for our council:?Why not name a two-person committee (Ms. Pam Marshall and Mr. David Oeltjen) to approach our current town manager and offer to extend her contract for an additional year?
Council is fortunate to have two individuals with the management and hiring experiences to professionally represent the council majority.
Much like a reasoned discussion based on facts leads to proper outcomes, so can the council be more efficient by working through an agreed upon committee structure.
Again, the obvious: Clifton Forge Town Council is fortunate to have one of the most qualified managers in the commonwealth of Virginia already under contract.
Council, please reconsider your responsibility.
Crestwood Avenue, Clifton Forge
The Virginian Review has been serving Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany County and Bath County since 1914.