Burton — Ohio, Many smaller local towns and villages are following Cleveland’s lead and are moving towards the same form of local government that some much larger cities are putting into place right now.
Perhaps it is because this form of government is more user friendly for the citizens, and it can also mean a clean sweep of the old boy network which has perhaps been in place far too long.
One local village is having a special meeting open to the public to discuss this exact topic. On their “Meeting Calendar” for October 2010, The Burton Village Mayor has proposed this change and has arranged for an open meeting to discuss the relative merits of this particular change coming up in a few weeks.
I recently learned of this meeting via the Burton Village Meeting Calendar on their website in which an entry for October 28th 2010 shows; “the Village of Burton is having a committee meeting to discuss the economic impact of an Administrator position for the Village as opposed to having a board of public affairs” It goes on to show; “This meeting is scheduled to take place on October the 28th at 7 pm. in the Village Office.” Since this is a very interesting topic which is currently making an impact across Northeast Ohio, I plan to be at this meeting.
What this means to locals who are impacted by the rules and regulations set forth by the existing village council led by their Mayor, is that there will be much stronger representation for the residents than they have had in the past. The improved transparency will allow the residents to be more involved in the future growth of their own town. This promises to be a very helpful program for any city, village or town government, and I believe that these smaller locales stand to gain as much as the larger ones.
This can help them form better rules and will enhance fiscal responsibility, once again by promoting transparency. With this form of government there is almost no way any theft in office can occur without another board member or the administrator finding out. Also the residents will know if something shady is going on since they can be much more involved in a government which is based on an Administrator presiding over an appointed council.
The biggest unanswered question is who selects this council, and then who can veto them? Typically this council is made up of a cross section of the community, such that all groups have some say in the outcome of city planning and rules associated with running their local government.
In my humble opinion, Burton Village has been struggling with it’s own success lately, since there are a lot of differing opinions as to how this beautiful little hamlet can improve and grow. With each separate faction fighting to gain prominence for their special interest area and group. One example would be how the historical society is being operated, and whether it should fall under the leadership of the new Council and Administrator?
If in Fact all of the separate Burton entities want to grow and prosper, then their goals need to be aligned together with the rest of the village. This effort must be combined with the other groups who are working hard to promote Burton as one of Geauga County’s best kept secrets! In fact there are people in one of the towns nearby who have lived there for thirty years and they still do not know what century village is, or why it is even there. It is not open year round like other businesses in the Village, their hours are strange, and you never know when it is okay to send a group of visitors there. Other than that Century Village is really great.
The village administrator with help form a new council, which can take a much broader view of promoting and supporting local businesses, and perhaps together they can implement more forward thinking goals and objectives for the entire village. This is a critical step towards gaining visibility as a desirable destination for tourism as well as attracting potential new business and new residents as well. With The current form of government their slow forward momentum has become stagnant and it needs to be jump started. Perhaps this important change in the format of their government is just what the doctor ordered?
I am in favor of any governmental change that will improve the visibility of our local attractions, and also helps with the openness of the management of the village and its interests. This could be a revolutionary change for this village, which in a few short years could help turn the entire village around towards greater prosperity and a broader diversity.
Instead of having so many empty storefronts they may find ways to build better tax breaks for attracting new small business into the village, and a goal of filling up every shop with a business that wants to be there instead of having so many of the stores vacant. Align the quaint little square with a very old maple sugar house which was built in 1931 with funding from the chamber of commerce, and it is still operated year round by the Chamber of Commerce. It retains it’s heritage as a local landmark, since it is also the only municipal sugar camp around. Perhaps a new regime and attitude can really ignite something fresh under this sleepy little village.
I plan to be at this meeting and will be armed with supporting information which may help the village to make a wise decision on this topic!
Burton Village Meeting Calendar from their Website.
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