Middletown Mayor DeStefano Advises Abolishing Monticello's Manager Form Of Government -- Years Of Editorials Agree

In an item on MidHudsonNews.com on entitled "Monticello business leaders learn secret of Middletown’s rebirth" describes advice from longtime incumbent Mayor Joe DeStefano of Middletown on improving government and reviving the local economy. Observing that the Village of Monticello is "on the cusp of a potential rebirth with the Montreign casino and other significant projects underway", business leaders heard from Mayor DeStefano and other top officials from Middletown, a city in neighboring Orange County, during a forum in which they discussed the Village's redevelopment.

According to the report:

"Monticello’s government structure includes a full-time village manager, who runs the day to day business and follows policy as set forth by the village board.

"Middletown has no city manager or administrator and when Mayor Joseph DeStefano was asked what he suggests Monticello do, he told attendees to get rid of the village manager form of government.

“'You need a strong mayor form of government,'” DeStefano said. 'The best thing that we ever did was we staggered our terms – the mayor and council president are four years; council members are two years. That puts a lot of pressure on them to either buy into your plan or to develop their own plan, and then I have to buy into their plan. I think that made for a good working relationship with the members of the board, that you have the power of the bully pulpit.'”

According to the published account, Monticello Mayor Douglas Solomon called the strong mayor concept "interesting", adding, “You would definitely have to have the right person for the job."

Both Middletown and Monticello have similar problems in attracting retail business to their downtown areas, DeStefano said.

The idea of abolishing the antiquated Village Manager form of government has been repeatedly endorsed on this website. Based on more than eight years of experience on the Board of Trustees and many more years than that as a local political observer and participant on government committees, I have seen how difficult it has been to hold the long series of Village Managers, some of whom have been more professional than others, accountable.

The public should be able to elect the Village's chief executive officer and vote him or her out when they fail to perform.

Oringally posted on on Wed, 10/24/2012 - 23:07

Sulllivan County Democrat, October 16, 2012

Sullivan County Democrat, April 8, 2011

Monticello manager fired after aborted Concord meeting, 10/16/2012, Sullivan County Democrat, news

Trustee would change government - Rue wants to can Monticello village managers, 3/23/2011 Times Herald-Record, news: "Village of Monticello Trustee Carmen Rue says she needs fewer than 250 voters to force a referendum on her proposal to dump the village manager form of government... But she says it's not them she wants to get rid of, but their $120,000 in salary and perks. 'It is not personal,' she said, noting that other communities, such as the Village of Liberty, are running their governments without paid managers."

Calm discussion would help Monticello, 3/24/2011 Times Herald-Record, editorial: "If the village can do without these expenses [of a Village Manager], it should move in that direction. While it is always hard to separate the personal and the political in Monticello, Rue has a point. Other villages operate with other structures, some of them less costly. If Monticello can get along without paying this money, it should."

Related Posts on This Site:

Time To Disband Monticello's Antiquated "Manager Form Of Government", For The 21st Century, 3/18/2011

The Questions Of Our Need For A Village Manager vs. Dissolving The Village Of Monticello, 3/21/2011