Town Attorney Andy Morris has shared a summary of the role of the Town Council with all of this year’s candidates for Council, which I found helpful.
“The Town Council’s job is to provide policy direction and to establish rules, and then Town staff implements that direction and follows those rules. The Council hires and fires two people: the town manager and the town attorney. Other than those two positions, Town employees don’t work directly for the Town Council, they report to the town manager. Because of that, direction that the Council wants to give to employees should go through the town manager. Also bear in mind that no individual Council member can really make any decisions; only the Council as a whole can do that, and only during a formal meeting. So, if there is something about how the Town is run that a Council member would like to change or add, the first step is usually to meet with the town manager.”
One of the most important things the Council does is to establish its priorities. This happens at open public meetings, and the established priorities get reviewed annually. When I was first elected, the Council had no established process to establish priorities for the policies it wanted to implement or the things it wanted to get done. Established priorities are important to keep the Town Manager and the entire Town organization in sync with Council and its primary policy setting role.
Current Town Council Priorities – Updated July 20, 2022