Lesley Gore sang “It’s My Party” back in 1963, and even though Democrat John F. Kennedy was riding high as our president, I'm pretty sure Ms. Gore was not referring to party politics when she sang the hit single.
With the mid-term elections less than a month away, it’s easy to see everything through the prism of party politics. But when it comes to local government operations, it’s always best to keep partisanship and politics out of the equation.
Yes, I recognize that one usually has to choose a political party in order to successfully run for local office – whether it’s township supervisor, commissioner, borough council or even mayor. However, my strong opinion is that political party affiliation has no place in local government. When I witness local elected leaders playing political chess games based on their political party's position, I worry that the best interest of the community may not be represented.
While it may be difficult for elected leaders to leave their political party at the door, that should not be the case with administrative leaders. Township and borough managers must make decisions that are blind to party affiliation and outside political influences. After all, there is no Democratic or Republican agenda when it comes to paving the roads and keeping public recreation areas clean and safe.
It’s easy to forget that local government affects you almost daily. The roads, playgrounds, public utilities, etc., are local items that need decisions to be made in the best interest of the residents – not any one political party.
So “let’s fire this thing up” and remember that the party stops when it’s time to do the people’s business.
About the Author
David L. Anthony is a member of the Keystone Municipal Solutions team of experts. He is a veteran of municipal government, having served more than 32 years in various positions of public service. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about David and the Keystone Municipal Solutions team, click here.