Say No To Cronyism
By Jody Reese
A New Zealand magazine recently described Manchester as a drab, dying mill town, and that’s just wrong.
Manchester is a growing, colorful city with a bright future. With redevelopment of the Millyard, Elm Street’s rejuvenation, the success of the Verizon Wireless Arena and the coming baseball stadium, as well as its ancillary condos and hotel, Manchester is probably one of the hottest cities in the Northeast.
But we have an image problem.
As much as we all know that Manchester is a city on the move, most people outside our borders are unaware of this. Out there, people still think of us as an old mill city. Time will change this but we have do do a few things to pick up the pace.
Part of the answer is to clean up the interstate on- and off-ramps. Another part is to make sure city government is run squeaky clean.
The second part of that plan will take a hit if Aldermen Mike Garrity has his way. Garrity wants to give aldermen more influence over the hiring of city employees. That plan offers the potential for cronyism, and is the wrong direction for a city with as much promise as Manchester.
Manchester city government needs to be the best government it can be, helpful to business and protective of its residents. Giving aldermen the power to offer jobs to their political pals is not the way to promote and create a better city.
Aldermen should not be involved in hiring city employees at all. It either creates the appearance of impropriety or fosters an environment ripe for corruption. The best city government is one made up of the most-qualified employees, not the best-connected.
Garrity’s plan reveals more than a problem of aldermen wanting to get their pals hired. It shows that we, as a city, need to look at our board of aldermen and see if it is the kind of board that will push our city forward or hold it back.
The time has come for many of the senior aldermen to step down and let a new generation of city leaders take the reins. It is the right thing to do and will help Manchester move forward.
In other news: It’s time for The Hippo’s Best of Manchester reader poll. Ballots will be available in the paper next week and online. Last year more than 2,000 people voted for everything from best Italian Restaurant to best politician.
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