To the Editor:
I must take an exception to the Vineyard Gazette’s editorial of July 15, indicating that it takes both leadership and management skills to become an accomplished town administrator. If, by leadership, one means getting out in front and literally leading, that couldn’t be more wrong.
Leadership is the primary responsibility of the board of selectmen, supported by the key person who provides complete, timely, and truthful information in the form of analyses and options and potential impacts of those options. Town administrators need to have significant management skills and a strong sense of professionalism, as they pursue their primary task, which is to find ways to make the board of selectmen function as a team in taking care of the town’s business.
And that means that the administrator’s only agenda should be to support the entire board of selectmen to arrive at its own decisions. It also means that the board of selectmen needs to learn over time more about what information it needs and what questions it should ask, instead of depending entirely on the town administrator.