Fred DeFinis Wellesley Townsman February 18, 2016
As a business owner and advocate I was intrigued by the prospect of a more efficient government for Wellesley. What business person wouldn’t want a more business-like approach to governing? However, after studying the work of the TGSC, attending hearings and working through eight long nights of Town Meeting, I see that we would not be getting a better or more efficient form of government for the people who matter most–our citizens. Instead we will get a costly extra layer of bureaucracy and will concentrate power in one person and an expanding group of bureaucrats to replace what has been a top notch citizen run government.
Additionally, proponents of this power structure have not quantified any specific efficiencies or dollar savings from their system. Their inability to put some hard numbers on the table raises a red flag to anyone paying attention to the details. The new government will be more costly – adding several highly paid bureaucrats with no promise that there will be savings. No business I know would claim to become more efficient by adding layers and cost.
There is no empirical evidence that town manager governments are more efficient. Wellesley is in the middle of our peer communities in terms of per capita spending, with arguably better services. Who would leave Wellesley for a town with another government structure?
We can remedy all of the concerns identified through better management practices and some simple administrative and/or bylaw changes. We don’t need to discard a proven form of government to constantly improve.
It is hard to imagine Patrick Henry shouting “Give me liberty or give me a new phone system” Let’s keep our government focused on its core missions and always responsive to the people. Join me in voting “NO” on March 15th.
19 Garrison Road
TMM Precinct A
Small business owner, advocate and mentor.