John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Open Records/Transparency Category

Still Hard at Work as Supervisor in October Despite Campaigning

I spent a lot of time campaigning for re-election in October 2019, which paid off in a bittersweet victory (read "Mack & Fisher Beat Butler & Boyle by Going Positive!"). Despite that, I spent nearly 35 hours in October 2019 on official Supervisor business to maintain an average of 40 hours per month in 2019 to date.

Log of Hours Spent on Official Business

My log keeps track of the time spent on the following:

  • Attending “Required” Meetings
  • Preparation for BOS Meetings
  • Attending Optional Meetings/Activities
  • Interaction with Residents
  • Travel To & From Meetings

What This Report Does Not Include

My log of Supervisor-related activities does not include the many hours I spend posting to this blog, maintaining my personal website, writing a newsletter, creating and posting video clips from meetings, hosting podcast interviews, summarizing decisions made by the Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition), etc. Also not included is the time I spend posting to my personal Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram account. These activities are NOT part of my official duties as Supervisor, but represent my personal views.

Not included in this log are the many hours spent canvassing door-to-door campaigning for re-election. Much of that time was productive getting feedback and discussing issues of importance to residents. BTW, if you haven't already done so, you can still give me feedback on issues of importance to you by taking this short survey.
Meetings

In October 2019, I spent 6.7 hours attending required meetings and 4.4 hours in optional meetings.

Obviously, BOS meetings are the most important meetings - I am expected to attend them in order to satisfy my duties as a Supervisor. These include regular twice-per-month public meetings (except in July and August), and non-public executive sessions. Optional meetings include public work sessions, and special meetings (see the list below).

“Other Meetings” I attended were optional. In October, 2019, I attended meetings of the Parks and Recreation Board, Joint Zoning Council (JZC Definition), the Newtown Fire Association (NFA), and a meeting with Police Chief Hearn to discuss communications (Savvy Citizen) and tour the police building.

The height of each bar represents total hours spent on official business that day. This includes time spent at meetings.
Interaction with Residents

In my opinion, personal interaction with residents regarding their concerns is an important part of my responsibilities as Supervisor. I want to be sure that I spend enough time reaching out to and responding to residents via personal contact, official email via my johnm@newtownpa.gov account and via my personal john@johnmacknewtown.info account, and via phone and/or Facebook.

In October 2019, I spent 3.9 hours (12% of my total logged hours) interacting with residents, not including the hours I spent campaigning for re-election.

What did I discuss with residents? Here’s a partial list (some items are not included for confidentiality reasons):

  • Toll Bros Archdioscese application
  • collection of EIT Definition from new restaurants
  • Outdoor speakers at Drive-thru Starbucks
  • Tyler Walk trail to shopping center

Disclaimer

When speaking with residents on issues that may come before the BOS in the future for a vote, I never express an opinion as to how I will vote because I may not have all the information. Needless to say, I also do NOT discuss any confidential information that is not in the public domain. These discussions with residents are meant solely to inform me of their opinions, not for me to give them my opinion. Or it is just to listen to complaints/concerns and to forward them on to the BOS if necessary

I decided to keep track of my activities as a Supervisor on a monthly basis partly because I want to be accountable to residents, but also to make sure I am making the best use of my time. It's really an honor to serve the community! I learn something new every day and have met many fine people and volunteers who also put in a lot of time without any compensation at all. Thanks to everyone who help keep Newtown in business and safe.

Posted on 08 Nov 2019, 10:22 - Category: Open Records/Transparency

(UNOFFICIAL) 2019 Voting Record of Newtown Supervisors

I've been keeping track of how Newtown Township supervisors voted on motions before the Board. The following is the voting record to date based on the approved minutes of meetings.

NOTE: This is NOT an official record of votes. Some very minor motions, such as to approve minutes, bills lists, etc., are not included. Please refer to the BOS meeting minutes for the official voting record of each meeting.

I will update this list after every Board of Supervisors public meeting minutes are approved for publication. Download a PDF version here.

Posted on 10 Oct 2019, 16:02 - Category: Open Records/Transparency

Summer's Over! It's Back to Work for Us Supervisors

Even though it may feel like summer out there, it's back to work for me and most of the other Newtown Supervisors. I spent nearly 50 hours in September 2019 on official Supervisor business. That's above the average of 43 hours per month for the 12-month period of September, 2018 through August, 2019.

Log of Hours Spent on Official Business

My log keeps track of the time spent on the following:

  • Attending “Required” Meetings
  • Preparation for BOS Meetings
  • Attending Optional Meetings/Activities
  • Interaction with Residents
  • Travel To & From Meetings

What This Report Does Not Include

My log of Supervisor-related activities does not include the many hours I spend posting to this blog, maintaining my personal website, writing a newsletter, creating and posting video clips from meetings, hosting podcast interviews, summarizing decisions made by the Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition), etc. Also not included is the time I spend posting to my personal Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram account. These activities are NOT part of my official duties as Supervisor, but represent my personal views.

Also not included in this log are the many hours I am spending canvassing door-to-door campaigning for re-election from now until Election Day on November 5, 2019. Much of that time is spent discussing issues of importance to residents.
Meetings

In September 2019, I spent 6.3 hours attending required meetings and 11.5 hours in optional meetings.

Obviously, BOS meetings are the most important meetings - I am expected to attend them in order to satisfy my duties as a Supervisor. These include regular twice-per-month public meetings (except in July and August), and non-public executive sessions. Optional meetings include public work sessions, and special meetings (see the list below).

“Other Meetings” I attended were optional. In September, 2019, I attended meetings of the Planning Commission, Environmental Advisory Council (EAC), and the Newtown Fire Association (NFA).

The height of each bar represents total hours spent on official business that day. This includes time spent at meetings.
Interaction with Residents

In my opinion, personal interaction with residents regarding their concerns is an important part of my responsibilities as Supervisor. I want to be sure that I spend enough time reaching out to and responding to residents via personal contact, official email via my johnm@newtownpa.gov account and via my personal john@johnmacknewtown.info account, and via phone and/or Facebook.

In September 2019, I spent 6.8 hours (14% of my total logged hours) interacting with residents, not including the hours I spent campaigning for re-election.

What did I discuss with residents? Here’s a partial list (some items are not included for confidentiality reasons):

Disclaimer

When speaking with residents on issues that may come before the BOS in the future for a vote, I never express an opinion as to how I will vote because I may not have all the information. Needless to say, I also do NOT discuss any confidential information that is not in the public domain. These discussions with residents are meant solely to inform me of their opinions, not for me to give them my opinion. Or it is just to listen to complaints/concerns and to forward them on to the BOS if necessary

I decided to keep track of my activities as a Supervisor on a monthly basis partly because I want to be accountable to residents, but also to make sure I am making the best use of my time. It's really an honor to serve the community! I learn something new every day and have met many fine people and volunteers who also put in a lot of time without any compensation at all. Thanks to everyone who help keep Newtown in business and safe.

Posted on 03 Oct 2019, 16:29 - Category: Open Records/Transparency

My "Lazy" Summer as Supervisor, Part 2: Activities for August 2019

As expected, I've had another "lazy" summer month as Supervisor in August. In fact I spent almost exactly the same amount of time on official Supervisor business in August, 2019, as I did in July, 2019: 28 hours! That's way below the average of 43 hours per month for the 12-month period of September, 2018 through August, 2019.

As in July, I spent less than 3 hours attending required meetings in August, primarily because the township is on a summer schedule with only one Board of Supervisor (BOS) meeting for the months of July and August.

Although things were slow in the summer, I expect my activity to pick up substantially in September.

Log of Hours Spent on Official Business

My log keeps track of the time spent on the following:

  • Attending “Required” Meetings
  • Preparation for BOS Meetings
  • Attending Optional Meetings/Activities
  • Interaction with Residents
  • Travel To & From Meetings

What This Report Does Not Include

My log of Supervisor-related activities does not include the many hours I spend posting to this blog, maintaining my personal website, writing a newsletter, creating and posting video clips from meetings, hosting podcast interviews, summarizing decisions made by the Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition), etc. Also not included is the time I spend posting to my personal Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram account. These activities are NOT part of my official duties as Supervisor, but represent my personal views.

Also not included in this log are the many hours I am spending canvassing door-to-door campaigning for re-election from now until Election Day on November 5, 2019. Much of that time is spent discussing issues of importance to residents.
Meetings

In the month of August 2019, I spent about 8 hours attending township meetings (required and optional). The average for the 8-month period of Jan-Aug, 2019, was 9 hours per month.

Obviously, BOS meetings are the most important meetings - I am expected to attend them in order to satisfy my duties as a Supervisor. These include regular twice-per-month public meetings (except in July and August), and non-public executive sessions. Optional meetings include public work sessions, and special meetings (see the list below).

My Hourly "Wage"

Newtown Supervisors receive a compensation of $4,125 per year before taxes. That's about $344 per month. For the period of January 2019 through August 2019, I earned an average of $9.51 per hour, which is higher than PA's minimum wage of $7.50 per hour - a rate that has not increased since 2009! If I just attended required meetings without putting in any time preparing for those meetings, my compensation would be about $95 per hour.

“Other Meetings” I attended were optional. In August, 2019, I attended meetings of the Parks and Recreation Board, Finance Committee, Planning Commission, and the Newtown Fire Association.

The height of each bar represents total hours spent on official business that day. This includes time spent at meetings.
Interaction with Residents

In my opinion, personal interaction with residents regarding their concerns is an important part of my responsibilities as Supervisor. I want to be sure that I spend enough time reaching out to and responding to residents via personal contact, official email via my johnm@newtownpa.gov account and via my personal john@johnmacknewtown.info account, and via phone and/or Facebook.

In August 2019, I spent about 4.5 hours (17% of my total logged hours) interacting with residents, not including the hours I spent campaigning for re-election.

What did I discuss with residents? Here’s a partial list (some items are not included for confidentiality reasons):

Disclaimer

When speaking with residents on issues that may come before the BOS in the future for a vote, I never express an opinion as to how I will vote because I may not have all the information. Needless to say, I also do NOT discuss any confidential information that is not in the public domain. These discussions with residents are meant solely to inform me of their opinions, not for me to give them my opinion. Or it is just to listen to complaints/concerns and to forward them on to the BOS if necessary

I decided to keep track of my activities as a Supervisor on a monthly basis partly because I want to be accountable to residents, but also to make sure I am making the best use of my time. It's really an honor to serve the community! I learn something new every day and have met many fine people and volunteers who also put in a lot of time without any compensation at all. Thanks to everyone who help keep Newtown in business and safe.

Posted on 04 Sep 2019, 12:26 - Category: Open Records/Transparency

My "Lazy" Summer as Supervisor, Part 1: Official Activities for July 2019

This is a "lazy" summer so far. I spent only 28 hours in July 2019, on official Supervisor business! That's way below the average of 45 hours per month for the period of Jan-May, 2019.

I spent less than 3 hours attending required meetings, primarily because the township is on a summer schedule with only one Board of Supervisor (BOS) meeting for the months of July and August.

Although things are slowing down in the summer, I expect my activity to pick up substantially beginning in September.

Log of Hours Spent on Official Business

My log keeps track of the time spent on the following:

  • Attending “Required” Meetings
  • Preparation for BOS Meetings
  • Attending Optional Meetings/Activities
  • Interaction with Residents
  • Travel To & From Meetings

What This Report Does Not Include

My log of Supervisor-related activities does not include the many hours I spend posting to this blog, maintaining my personal website, writing a newsletter, creating and posting video clips from meetings, hosting podcast interviews, summarizing decisions made by the Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition), etc. Also not included is the time I spend posting to my personal Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram account. These activities are NOT part of my official duties as Supervisor, but represent my personal views.

Also not included in this log are the many hours I am spending canvassing door-to-door campaigning for re-election from now until Election Day on November 5, 2019. Much of that time is spent discussing issues of importance to residents.
Meetings

In the month of July 2019, I spent about 6 hours attending township meetings (required and optional). The average for the 5-month period of Jan-May, 2019, was 10 hours per month (including June, the average is 9 hours).

Obviously, BOS meetings are the most important meetings - I am expected to attend them in order to satisfy my duties as a Supervisor. These include regular twice-per-month public meetings (except in July and August), and non-public executive sessions. Optional meetings include public work sessions, and special meetings (see the list below).

“Other Meetings” I attended were optional. In July, 2019, I attended a Human Relations Commission public meeting on July 29, and a Newtown Fire Association meeting on July 30.

Interaction with Residents
Friends of Roberts Ridge Park Meeting

In my opinion, personal interaction with residents regarding their concerns is an important part of my responsibilities as Supervisor. I want to be sure that I spend enough time reaching out to and responding to residents via personal contact, official email via my johnm@newtownpa.gov account and via my personal john@johnmacknewtown.info account, and via phone and/or Facebook.

In July 2019, I spent about 8 hours (28% of my total logged hours) interacting with residents, not including the hours I spent campaigning for re-election. Included in that were 3 hours spent at a Friends of Roberts Ridge party at my house(see photo).

What did I discuss with residents? Here’s a partial list (some items are not included for confidentiality reasons):

Disclaimer

When speaking with residents on issues that may come before the BOS in the future for a vote, I never express an opinion as to how I will vote because I may not have all the information. Needless to say, I also do NOT discuss any confidential information that is not in the public domain. These discussions with residents are meant solely to inform me of their opinions, not for me to give them my opinion. Or it is just to listen to complaints/concerns and to forward them on to the BOS if necessary
The height of each bar represents total hours spent on official business that day. This includes time spent at meetings.

I decided to keep track of my activities as a Supervisor on a monthly basis partly because I want to be accountable to residents, but also to make sure I am making the best use of my time. It's really an honor to serve the community! I learn something new every day and have met many fine people and volunteers who also put in a lot of time without any compensation at all. Thanks to everyone who help keep Newtown in business and safe.

Posted on 02 Aug 2019, 12:08 - Category: Open Records/Transparency

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This site is paid for and approved by John Mack: john@johnmacknewtown.info
The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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