Editor’s Note: This letter is a response to Bob Allen’s guest column, “Crestview doesn’t need a city manager,” published in the May 20-23, 2017 edition.

Mr. Allen, I must respectfully say that I disagree with almost your entire letter. More importantly, I disagree with the principles you used to form your opinion.

For example, we elect people because we like their ideas or their reputation. Rarely are people elected because of their business experience. If we restricted our requirements for council to only people who have experience running a $17 million corporation, the candidate pool would be small indeed. 

No, we elect people to set policy, to provide a general direction, to provide oversight, not to perform day-to-day supervision.

That's the whole point.

We have professional HR people, citizens and elected officials (to) determine the professional qualifications needed and hire an administrator who has those qualifications — which will probably exceed the professional qualifications of much of council. 

… If you can't build a consensus about their performance, then either you're looking at the wrong things or you’re politicizing the performance of the administrator.

The second point is your opinion that the role of municipal government, simply, is to provide those services that the individual citizens cannot provide for themselves, i.e., police and fire protection, roads and sewer systems, and whatever other services are deemed to be necessary for the body politic — I disagree.

If that were the case, no city would provide more. No city would have libraries, museums, art galleries, school systems or even police and fire. After all, the county and state can provide police and many places have volunteer fire departments.

No, city government cannot build a Walmart or an Arby's — but it can attract such businesses through tax and zoning incentives.

It can reduce the burden of government on local entrepreneurs.

It can make itself attractive to business and new residents.

It can improve the quality of life for current residents, which is exactly what residents are now telling you they want — and you aren't listening.

 

SAM DEVEREAUX

Crestview

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