Petition Closed

Transparency for WIllingboro Township Manager Search

This petition had 197 supporters

Dear Residents,

It is time that we start taking back control over OUR/YOUR community.  Our council is divided and failing to make decisions in our best interest.  When I say council, I group them as one, however, several members are doing their best to work with the community & keep us informed.  Under our Council-Manager, a Faulkner form of government, the Mayor serves as the presiding member of the council, however, the Township Manager is chief administrator of the township with full administrative responsibility. The Township Manager, however, is the CEO of the community & responsible for the community functioning properly.  The hire of new township manager is vital to turning this community around.  If we as a community have no vision, no strategic plan to carry out that vision, how can we ever expect to go excel as the community we all know we can be.

Council has promised to include residents in the hiring process, however, has failed to do so and residents are being kept in the dark.  There were 3 finalists which were scheduled for a public Meet & Greet which was cancelled once the public found out.  We (residents) spread the word & would have had decent participation.  What is disheartening is that two of the candidates are highly qualified for the job, but being overlooked by our council due to internal reasons and petty differences.   These candidates, Willingboro residents, who were more qualified did not make the final cuts.  I know, I want a Willingboro resident or someone vested in the community to at least have a chance at getting the job and I believe part of the requirements were for a member of the town to be hired if possible.  

The purpose of this petition is to let the members on Willingboro Town Council know that the residents DEMAND that not only our local residents be given an opportunity to be presented to the entire community along with the Councils finalists, but to have the Meet & Greet during a regularly scheduled council meeting preferably Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 making it transparent & convenient for all.

Goals for this petition:
#1 - min 100 signatures by 12/6, 6pm.
#2 - min 500 signatures by 12/19, 6pm
#3 - enough community representation that the 12/20 meeting must be moved to the Kennedy Center

Quick Recap for those who are just getting up to speed:
• The Willingboro Township Manager position has been vacant for almost a year. 
• Council knew the previous town manager was leaving October 2015 and  failed to start the search process for a new manager until February 2016.
• Council had no plan to replace the manager and refused to form a search committee of residents to vet potential candidates for FREE.
• Council put out an RFQ & chose a NY firm (originally at 33% before negotiations) over a team of residents with experience in hr, economics & marketing to perform the search for 10%.  A total mismanagement of township tax dollars.
• Council promised to keep residents updated & included in the process.
• Council refused to develop a vision/strategic plan until they hire the person responsible for carrying out the vision/plan (to develop it for them). 
• Council offered the position to another candidate (without informing the residents like they promised) who repeatedly declined their offer on basis of not moving here.
• Council knew there was going to be a special meeting on Tuesday(11/14) and  did not even give residents the courtesy of a save the date for Tuesday (11/22) an otherwise normal council meeting that was cancelled because of Thanksgiving.
• Candidates were made aware, Council was made aware, according to Open Public Meetings Act, it was published in the Burlington County Times on Sunday (11/20, buried in the paper) that candidates would attend a public Meet & Greet with residents.
• The majority of residents found out via social media & made changes in their schedule to be in attendance for the meeting which the township didn't advertise other than the buried BCT article.
• Council cancelled the meeting not to violate confidentiality for candidates that KNEW they were attending a PUBLIC meeting.

About the finalist:
If the list of finalists I received is correct, according to their own job description the candidates barely qualified. none have served in towns our size with our demographics & challenges. one had an ethics violation and conducted their own investigation.  another caused their town a lawsuit with their acting police chief & was ultimately fired by the new council 5-0 & the third doesn't even have the experience council asked for (according to their job description)...

Worst of all, 2 candidates who live right here in Willingboro, highly qualified (according to the job description and ranking by the recruiter) are not even being presented to the public. The excuse is they didn't interview well, yet the recruiting company the township hired had one ranked as the #1 candidate.

Thank you for your time and  attention.  

Harry Walker

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