Editorial: Unsteady Footing

Since its veteran town manager was pushed out the door in May, the Purcellville town government has struggled to find its footing.

The dysfunction rooted, in large part, in council members’ distrust of the town’s professional staff and the staff’s concerns over council members’ micro-management has only been exacerbated since the leadership change. More disturbing in recent weeks has been the allegations of mismanagement—possibly worse—involving two of the town’s top ranking administrators.

This Town Council has had a quick hook for staffers suspected of offenses—real and imagined. But at what point does the council consider a vote of no confidence in its own management?

Now is a good time for that type of reflection.

The council is likely to hear from critics old and new as these bizarre events evolve in the weeks ahead. Although there will be an inclination among some members to lash out or tune them out, a better response is to enlist their help in moving the town forward. While there may be political or philosophical differences, there is a shared goal to make the community a better place to live and work. In small towns, good government is the best tool to accomplish those goals.

The first step in rebuilding Purcellville’s fractured government is to finally move past the us-versus-them mentality that has permeated Town Hall and undermined its operations. A little more listening and a bit more compromise on all sides will be critical to rebuilding public trust that has rapidly whittled away to the detriment of all.

What step will the council take next?

Leave a Reply