ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.
If there is one thing the Dorr Township Board has done better than anyone else around here, it is micromanaging.
Though missing from the landscape in the last several years, it returned with a vengeance last month.
Trustee Chandler Stanton, with apparent support from Trustee John Tuinstra, shared his opinion about a shortfall of $8,250 in the township budget over the past year. And he was hell bent on casting suspicions on Treasurer Myrna Marr and her predecessor, Jim Martin.
Dictionaries have described, “A micromanager tends to require constant and detailed performance feedback and to focus excessively on procedural trivia (often in detail greater than they can actually process) rather than on overall performance, quality and results. This focus on ‘low-level’ trivia often delays decisions, clouds overall goals and objectives, restricts the flow of information between employees, and guides the various aspects of a project in different and often opposed directions. Many micromanagers accept such inefficiencies as less important than their retention of control or of the appearance of control.
“The micromanager takes essential management practices to extremes and interferes with employees’ ability to do their jobs properly, while creating undue stress for them.”
Mr. Stanton could have called attention to the financial problem by alerting the treasurer’s department and auditor and ask that it be corrected. Instead, he chose to make the issue very public, probably in an attempt to embarrass a public official, who has promised to work with the auditor to get the matter settled.
Stanton therefore insisted that the board packet for the next meeting include bank statements from July and August. He, Tuinstra, Clerk Debbie Sewers and Trustee Dan Weber voted in favor, Marr, Supervisor Jeff Miling and Trustee Pat Champion were opposed.
Perhaps Stanton is being tutored by Tuinstra, one of the best micro-managers I’ve ever seen. Tuinstra and former colleague Patty Senneker years ago insisted that they sit in on interviews for prospective firefighters, taking that responsibility away from the fire chief and other department officials. He later asked nicely for Chief Gary Fordham to send him the resume of a recent hire.
So much for trusting and respecting your hired personnel to do their jobs.
Now comes information that the township’s attorney has recommended the board rescind last month’s board action to include bank statements in board packets before meetings, only an attempt to better monitor and micro-manage activities within departments.
Miling already has indicated he will move to have last month’s action rescinded, on advice of legal counsel, perhaps thereby nipping in the bud a troubling old feature that has plagued this board for too long.