Subcommittee wants citizen participation

 

Subcommittee wants citizen participation

 

Date: July 21, 2010
by: Kurt Schultheis | City Editor

 
 

A subcommittee formed this summer to review town operations is seeking residents to assist in the process.

“It’s constantly pointed out to me that we have a lot of knowledgeable residents on this Key,” said subcommittee Chairman Commissioner David Brenner at the July 16 meeting. “Now we’re going to find out if that’s the case.”

Brenner and the other subcommittee members, however, pointed out that every resident interested in reviewing one of the town’s departments won’t automatically be appointed.

“Everyone will be interviewed by the subcommittee,” said Brenner. “We will have the final say over who will be appointed.”

Areas for review include the Town Manager’s Department, the Town Clerk/Human Resources Department, the Finance Department, Management Information Systems Department, the Planning, Zoning and Building Department, the Public Works Department and the Police and Fire-Rescue Departments.

Finance Director Tom Kelley told the subcommittee he hopes the subcommittee selects residents who have varied fields of expertise.

“I don’t want just a finance person,” Kelley said. “I want a finance/technological person to help us do things more efficiently using certain programs.”

Periodic reports will be delivered to the commission before a final report is distributed for the Town Commission’s review at a later date.

No timetable has been set for how long the process might take.

Brenner said that the purpose of the committee is not to reduce the number of workers at Town Hall.

“It’s designed to examine the current operations and, hopefully, we might be able to suggest efficiency improvements that would benefit everybody,” Brenner said.

Subcommittee member Commissioner Lynn Larson agreed.

“We may just find things are running very well the way they are,” Larson said.

But, Larson said all suggestions could prove to be helpful.

Larson pointed out that just last month, town staff took the advice of two of her constituents in Country Club Shores.

David and Sharon Lund, of Putting Green Lane, said the town could save money by not sending them two different utility bills for both their water and irrigation services.

The separate bills were sent because the Lunds, like more than 100 town utility customers, have two water meters.

Town staff, which worked with the company that generates the bills, implemented the change almost immediately. The move will save the town hundreds of dollars in postage a year.

“When citizens offer suggestions, we look into them,” said Town Manager Bruce St. Denis.

The discussion prompted Larson to propose the town place a suggestion box at Town Hall so that both residents and employees can offer suggestions.

In the meantime, the subcommittee will begin contacting people who are interested in reviewing town operations.

Any Key resident who is interested in being part of the process can e-mail Brenner at dbrenner@longboatkey.org.
 

Contact Kurt Schultheis at kschultheis@yourobserver.com.

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