I have served on the city council for 1.5 years now. During that time, I have made two fundamental observations: most of our employees are sincerely trying to advance the city, secondly, while well intended, our government is disorganized and highly inefficient leading to intense fragmentation of authority and organization. This has led me to this conclusion: in order to adequately meet the needs of the current/growing demands of local government, we must replace the clerk-treasurer position with a City Administrator/Manager. We have a historic opportunity on our hands with the anticipated retirement of our Clerk/Treasurer in 2019, and our current effort to re-write the code of ordinances. We must fund this in the upcoming 2019 City Budget, as well as the consultancy work required to pull off such a fundamental change in our government.

We cannot have new spending however, as we are at the maximum amount legally able to levy, but must find the money to replace the Clerk-Treasurer with an Administrator from our current personnel salary budget(s). Quite simply, we cannot afford to pay anymore for personnel, we must downsize position(s) that are no longer required/necessary, NOT services. I am convinced that an administrator would find cost savings that would justify his/her entire position within months of hiring. To be clear, a city administrator would NOT have any voting power, and there would be complete oversight of tasks and duties from the city council and mayor. It would be the job of the City Administrator to run and implement policy of the city, after the council and mayor have set policy. We currently have a system where no one really knows who's in charge, due to the way our city is set up. We need one person who is “the boss” in all respects of day-to-day tasks, accountable to the council and mayor for policy, guidance, and discipline. I believe this transformative step would be a giant leap forward for Park Falls. A capable, lean, and efficient government will allow this city to move forward organizationally and economically. The current form of government is a detriment to economic growth and citizen discontent. If you do or do not agree with this, please contact your local alderman or mayor.

Michael Bablick

Park Falls 1st District Alderman

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