While Janesville is only 60,000 people, it is a lot like Lowell. The official website says:
The City of Janesville operates under the Council-Manager form of government. The Janesville City Council has seven members, who are elected on a nonpartisan basis and represent the city as a whole. Council members serve two year, overlapping terms and are non-salaried.Well, one thing is different. Even though they meet weekly, the City Council members are not paid.
Being the "blow-in" that I am I have only been here for fifteen (15) years. In that time we have had Richard Johnson (resigned 24 August 1995), Brian Martin (resigned June 2000), John Cox (resigned 31 July 2006) and Bernie Lynch (Incumbent).♠ So, four City Managers in 15 years, vs 25 years for one City Manager. This is about the value of continuity. Long term planning works when there is some degree of continuity. If Lowell is to proper in the future, we need long term planning.
Today someone told me that the City Manager of (dreaded) Cambridge has held the position for 24 years. Turns out that City Manager Robert W Healy has been on the job for 28 years and a few days.
In the Air Force, Wing Commanders normally last about two years. In the late 1960s the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing (Bitburg AB, FRG) had five during the three and a half years I was there. During that time some wag made the comment that he was tired of OJTing♥ Wing Commanders. I am feeling the same way about City Managers.
Regards — Cliff
♠ Thanks to Dick Howe's blog and his stats on elections.
♥ On the Job Training