Council Mission

Little things set a tone. Here is the Mission Statement for the Methuen City council.

We should start with what is a mission statement and what should be in such a statement.

Here is a quick synopsis;

A mission statement is a short written statement for the purpose of a company or organization.

Ideally, a mission statement guides the actions of an organization, spells out its overall goal, provides a sense of direction, and guides decision making for all levels of management.
Mission statements often contain the following:
• Purpose and aim of the organization
• The organization’s primary stakeholders: clients, stockholders, etc.
• Responsibilities of the organization toward these stakeholders
• Products and services offered
In developing a mission statement:
• Encourage as much input as feasible from employees, volunteers, and other stakeholders
• Publicize it broadly
Limit to a few statements

With that in mind let’s look at the statement on the City website;

Mission Statement: The Methuen City Council is a nine member body charged with enacting the resolutions and ordinances that govern Methuen. The nine members are elected for two year terms, with three Councillors elected “at-large” (City Wide), and six elected from the three voting Districts (East, Central, and West) in Methuen.

The East District is made up of Precincts 3,7,9 and 12, with the Central District consisting of Precincts 1,2,6, and 10, and the West District consisting of Precincts 4,5,8, and 11. Councillors are limited by Methuen’s Charter to serving three two year terms.

Once the “fluff” is removed here is what we have left;

The Methuen City Council is a nine member body charged with enacting the resolutions and ordinances that govern Methuen

We could leave it as such or add elected simply to clarify and end up with a simple statement as below;

The Methuen City Council is an elected nine member body charged with enacting the resolutions and ordinances that govern Methuen.
 
The problem with this statement is it does not clearly delineate the purpose and aims nor does it mention the stakeholders. Methuen is implied to represent the stakeholders but it is a legal entity and implies that their aim is to govern this entity.

If we went to Massachusetts General Law (MGL) Chapter 43 — Section 66;

City council; powers and duties. The government of the city and the general management and control of all of its affairs shall be vested in a city council, which shall be elected and shall exercise its powers in the manner hereinafter set forth; …

We could  also have  looked at the HOME RULE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF METHUEN Section 2-4 General Powers and Duties;

Except as otherwise provided by law or by the Charter, all powers of the City shall be vested in the City Council which shall provide for their exercise and for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed on the City by law.

These did not seem to help much. What about a  search of other City Mission statements.

Here is a sampling of what can be found.

  • City Council is the legislative branch of government. It carries out duties in accordance with the Home Rule Charter and the laws of the state, and is primarily responsible for making laws which govern the City of Methuen. City Council proposes, debates, and votes on legislation governing and/or affecting the city. This body also approves appointments as provided by the Charter, regulates revenues and expenditures, incurs debt, and approves the final operating and capital budgets for the city. Council is responsible for the introduction of legislation generated by the administrative branch of city government. Council may also introduce legislation generated by individuals, Council Members or Council as a body.
  • The Council levies taxes, enacts ordinances and resolutions, licenses businesses, and exercises budgetary and policy control over City departments.
  • The Council adopts ordinances that provide for the government and order of the City. Ordinances serve a variety of purposes, including licensing, regulating public and private activities, controlling the uses of property, preventing crime, and generally ensuring public health and welfare.
  • The Council adopts resolutions to express policy or to direct certain administrative actions.
  • The Council also passes on assessments, submits annual tax levy statements and has charge of City elections.

So what can be recommended?

Methuen City Council is the legislative branch of municipal government. It carries out duties in accordance with the laws of Massachusetts and the Home Rule Charter and is primarily responsible for making laws which govern the residents of the City of Methuen. The Council is responsible for the management of all legislation generated by individuals, Council Members or the administrative branch.

City Council debates and votes on ordinances that serve a variety of purposes, including licensing, regulating public and private activities, controlling the uses of property, preventing crime, providing order and generally ensuring public health and welfare.

Council also approves appointments, adopts resolutions to express policy or to direct certain administrative actions and has charge of City elections.

City Council also passes on assessments, submits annual tax levy statements, regulates revenues and expenditures, incurs debt, and approves the final operating and capital budgets for the city.

What do you think? Is this a clearer Mission statement.

admin posted at 2010-1-9 Category: City Council

One Response Leave a comment

  1. #1Jack Burke @ 2011-1-26 09:32

    Here is an exceptional Mission Statement; Yuba City, Arizona;

    City Council Mission Statement

    The Mission of Yuba City is…

    To anticipate and provide for the needs of the community through quality service, innovation and leadership for today and in the future.

    Our Vision is…

    As an organization of dynamic, innovative, creative and dedicated people….
    We focus on continuously improving our ability to provide a variety of public services in a climate of increasing change. We have a diverse work force that actively engages in continuous learning, performance improvement and teamwork. By applying advanced technologies, improving our work processes, and building partnerships, we excel in providing for the needs of our community. We take pride in working for the public, we actively participate in our community and we deliver exceptional value for Yuba City’s citizens and businesses.

    Our Values are…

    Committed to delivery of quality service.
    Provide a safe community with a high quality of life.
    Strive to be proactive, innovative and plan for the future.
    Committed to teamwork, empowerment and development of employees.
    Encourage broad-based public dialogue and consensus concerning strategic issues.
    Protect the financial health of the City and promote the economic viability of the region.

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