Job Security

I am emailing you looking for advice on our current situation. I am in mid level management in our Development Department and a bit concerned with our current situation. We are a community currently still in the Town form of government and our population is around 65,000. We have a political action committee who is trying to obtain I believe 1500 names on a petition to have our form of government changed to a city. I have worked here for 10 years and previously worked for a much larger city with around a million residents. I know how politics plays into all departments with a mayor and council vs. just a town council, and how directors and other department personnel may be removed from their positions. I fear change especially having committed 10 years of my career here that one day I could become a casualty of politics.

I was just wondering if anyone has had to make this transition and if so, have they survived the change without drawing a line in the sand? Any comments or suggestions are welcome. I currently do not feel that my position would be a casualty of politics, but I am looking into the future and how to maintain some sort of security in these trying times.

Thanks.

Concerned anonymously

Dear Concerned,

Maybe our readers can do better on this one than I can. My thoughts:

  1. In these times, we all need to keep our resume up to date and our ears open for possible changes; so do that.
  2. Development Departments are political animals so be prepared. However, normally it is only the top person that should be concerned. Do you have any form of civil service, union, or other type of job protection?
  3. I don't understand your reference to "drawing a line in the sand." Your best bet is to continue to do the best job you can and hope to be recognized for it.
  4. Don't get mixed up in the debate as to changing the form of government. The pro's and con's of this should see you as a neutral party. However, a change in form of government may be in order.
Good luck. Let me know how it comes out.

The Management Doctor


Reader Responses

If I was a planner in that municipality, I would strongly advocate consideration of a Manager-Council form of government as one of the alternatives. ICMA can provide assistance with information as to the benefits of professional management.

Sincerely,

J. Justin Woods
City of Ogdensburg, NY


Real planners don't 'fear' change -- they embrace it, plan for it and create new frameworks around it to make it work best for the most!

Joanne Manson

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