This is an addendum to the previous article outlining 10 items that local elected officials should remind themselves of regularly.
This is not a #11 but rather an addendum because it is more than just a bullet point.
As an elected official you should not be delegating your authority to underlings, appointees or some committee made up of or includes professionals/residents that are NOT elected people. I’m sure its easier and takes some hassle away but often these appointees begin to overstep their bounds and begin making rules, or what looks like ordinances that you should be making collectively as a body. This does happen, I have seen it. I am seeing it. Left unchecked, the next thing you know you allow them to have oversight of you instead of the other way around.
From time to time you must reign these people in and let them know who exactly is in charge. You are elected, your appointees are not. They work for you, not the other way around. Eventually they will show up with a problem and will have a draft already written of some policy or ordinance that needs to be passed, that will resolve that problem. You hand it off to legal for review then you pass it, but what exactly have YOU done towards input in the direction of the solution ? That should be a red flag right from the start.
Its no different than in business. Managers often delegate and they begin to rely on a particular person and the next thing you know you can’t tell who is really running things. This is a disaster for managers and it will be a disaster for you as an elected official.
You delegate enough authority to get a task done so that you do not need to micromanage but you provide guard rails in which they operate.
From time to time you have to reign them otherwise your appointees will hijack your authority and then…there is no real need for you.