Job opportunities truly pop up sometimes that people should take seriously for their own professional development, or to provide for their families. But really, when six people in key positions leave Georgetown City Hall one after another, it seems to be a bit much to call it a coincidence.
As we’ve reported previously — and with a front page story today — there are a half-dozen vacancies in the city’s payroll now.
When “normal” attrition occurs that’s one thing, but when the city’s administrator, finance director, assistant finance director, purchasing agent, planning director and Information Technology head all leave in a short time, it certainly takes on a different look.
Today, Georgetown City Council has a scheduled meeting — to go into executive session — to discuss hiring an interim administrator.
It is appropriate to negotiate a personnel contract behind closed doors, but the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act specifically says no decisions and no votes may be made in executive session.
All these other vacancies that have come about are not subjects that are permitted to be discussed in executive session. They do not fit the narrow restriction on “personnel matters” that we are afraid the mayor and city council could try to use to get around that prohibition.
We hope members of council and the mayor will keep their focus on the strict, narrow limits of an interim administrator. It is the responsibility of each and every member of council to hold the group to the letter of the law.
Across the country, people are suspicious of their government — the President, Congress, and state legislatures.
It’s time to get serious about the responsibility of governing in Georgetown.
Our city is beautiful. Its heritage is one that many are proud to call their own, even while acknowledging the blemishes on that heritage.
But, there are too many ways that our city manages to mess up.
What we need now is for members of Council and the Mayor to be open and honest with their citizens. We’re not saying it’s time to point accusing fingers. Rather, it’s time to look in the mirror and fix what’s wrong.
We need a good, impartial city administrator for an interim and for the long haul. We need well-qualified people to serve in these necessary spots in City Hall.
And, we need a professional management audit.
That’s a recommendation we and others have made in the past that has been ignored.
It’s more expensive than a routine annual audit. But, a management audit is a fiscal tool that can help find problems, find efficiencies and recommend solutions.
A real, thorough, in-depth professional management audit and a professional interim administrator who is well-acquainted with Georgetown and Georgetown County could help the taxpayers and the businesses of Georgetown — and city employees and members of council — swallow what may be some tough medicine that will actually help cure some of the ills.
We encourage Council to hire professionals who will prescribe the necessary medicine for our city to live up to all the good that is here.
And then, take the medicine with a smile and a will to see things through.
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