Question of the week: Working relationship with administration
Each week through the General Election, The Breeze will ask the candidates for Cape Coral City Council an issue-related question. In the interest of fairness, each candidate is limited to the same amount of space, about 100 words, for their response. The sixth question is: What, if anything, would you change in the working relationship between council and the city administration?
Peter Brandt (I)
The relationship I have with the administration is working fine for me, and I see no reason for change. I have a mutually cordial, cooperative, and professional relationship with the City Manager, his direct reports and essentially all the members of staff with whom I interact. It’s regretful to me that such a relationship does not seem to be universal among all Council members. It’s my observation that bases for any difficulties do not appear to be with the administration.
Charter amendments are before the voters that modify the rules of Council/Administration relationships, but, in my opinion, they are subtle changes that, should they pass, wouldn’t have any noticeable effect on our relationship.
John Carioscia Sr.
First and foremost I would do a national search for the most experienced and successful Public Sector Manager available.
I would not allow the City Manager, as being done in this administration, to make policy, but to carry out the policy of the City Council.
The City Council legislates based on the needs of the citizens and the City Manager administrates those policies and ensures that the entire community is being served.
And lastly, I would strictly adhere to the Chain of Command as set in the City charter.
All inquires regarding City employees and City business, would go through the City Manager.
William Deile (I)
The Charter and personalities govern the relationship between Council and the Administration. I authored a Charter amendment to clarify the legal relationship that will be on the general election ballot. As to personalities I have worked with three Mayors, and three City Managers and many on staff during my term. A simple phone call of thanks for a job well done boosts morale. Sometimes a whole department needs a boost. I have worked with and supported the Audit Department to change its perception to a management asset rather than a “gotcha”. This has increased its effectiveness, prestige and morale. If the Charter and the chain of command are honored, coupled with research, analysis and respect, a good relationship will follow and permit a flow of information, ideas and mutual support. My relationship with the City Manager and staff works well.
Leonard Nesta Jr.
I know that the relationship as a councilman must be a respectful one with all parties and I will do just that. The City Charter let’s all parties know the relationships and how they should work. City council should not Interfere with the Job of the City Manager and his relationship with City administration or employees.
The City Manager, Attorney and Auditor work directly for the City Council. The Auditor/Council relationship seems to be working well. I would like to see the Attorney’s office more involved in contract negotiations as well as tightening up all contracts the City enters into. As to the City Manager, I would like to see Council take a more directive leadership approach with this position. There have been repeated concerns over how information is passed on to the Council and the public. This is an area that needs to be addressed immediately. Council also needs to keep a better watch over the internal movements and reorganizations to ensure that these truly lead to cost savings and more effective use of staff time.
Wm. “Scott” Morris
Any policy change by council concerning city administration would likely require a majority vote. I cannot guarantee any change when it involves a majority vote, I can only promise to try and advocate for a change. Any working relationship between council and the administration must have as a foundation mutual respect and trust. I can only be responsible for my own behavior. As the next councilmember from District # 5, I promise to try and build a bridge of trust and respect between council and the administration and especially between council and all the employees and citizens of Cape Coral.
District 7 (I)
The city charter clearly outlines the parameters by which city council members may interact with the city administration. I would not change anything concerning the language of this charter provision. Specifically, council members are allowed to interact with the members of the city administration as needed provided such interaction is for the purpose of either inquiry or investigation. Please note that in my four years of service I have ALWAYS had access to ALL members of the city administration and employees. I want to publically thank all employees, both past and present, for the professional and pleasant working relationship we share(d)
I think the most important thing is to have mutual respect and good communication between City Council and City administration. By having good open lines of communication between City Council and City administration, the City can function more efficiently and move forward in a positive manner.
* City of Cape Coral General Election: Nov. 8
Voter registration book closed Oct. 11
Early voting: Oct. 31 through Nov.5
Cape Coral City Council races are non-partisan, citywide elections meaning registered voters can cast a ballot in each race, no matter party affiliation, no matter the district in which they live.