The guiding principle in the public accounting profession is one that the public sector should take to heart: it is not sufficient to be independent in fact … a public official must also be independent in appearance as well.
This principle seems to be lost on the Mayor and City Council. From the moment John Manchester was appointed to be the next city manager he should have resigned his elected position as mayor. Whether or not state, county or local ordinances allow an individual to hold both positions it is a conflict of interest for John Manchester to do so.
Mr. Mayor, it is never too late to do the right thing. Continue to hang onto the office of Mayor and resign as City Manager or vice versa. (Given the rather substantial difference in compensation) it’s pretty easy to figure out which office Manchester would hang onto if forced to choose.
If Manchester continues to hang onto both, he will not be independent in FACT or APPEARANCE. I’m not suggesting that the Mayor has not fulfilled both positions with honor … I’m just suggesting that – like the public accounting profession – the public’s right to complete “transparency” is paramont.