John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
A Month in the Life of a Newtown Supervisor: Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings!

A Month in the Life of a Newtown Supervisor: Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings!

My desktop at a recent BOS meeting

In the month of September 2018, I estimate that I spent about 34 hours attending meetings. This includes Board of Supervisors (BOS) meetings that I am required to attend such as Regular bi-weekly public meetings, non-public Executive Sessions, optional public Work Session meetings, and Special meetings (see the table below).

“Other Meetings” I attended were optional. For September, these included:

  1. Joint Zoning Council monthly meeting
  2. Newtown Fire Association monthly meeting
  3. Technology Committee monthly meeting
  4. Planning Commission bi-monthly meeting
  5. Bucks County Association of Township Officials Annual Fall Dinner
  6. House Democratic Policy Committee on EMS Recruitment and Retention Problems (read “Perry Warren & PA House Democratic Policy Committee Look at Ways to Recruit and Retain EMS Volunteers”).

One special “optional” meeting was actually a series of several meetings where I sat in on interviews with candidates for Newtown Police Chief. These interviews were done by outside consultants and Supervisors were invited to attend for observational purposes only. That was a whole day’s worth of meetings totally over 7 hours! Not every Supervisor can attend these kinds of meetings because they have outside jobs. I am able to attend these very important “optional” meetings because I am retired.

In addition to attending meetings, I also must prepare for meetings and spend time traveling to and from meetings. The following chart shows the breakdown of these activities for September:

In total, I spent nearly 60 hours in September attending meetings, preparing for meetings, and travel to and from meetings! It was a busy month. Not that I’m complaining – after all, I DO get paid about $345 a month before taxes!

Under “Activities” that are not meetings, I included time spent writing and answering official email from my johnm@newtownpa.gov account and interactions with residents and reporters in person or via phone and/or Facebook discussing official township issues.

What This Does Not Include

The above estimates do not include the many hours I spend keeping the public informed. I post information to this blog and website, for example. This includes writing a newsletter, creating and posting video clips from meetings, hosting podcast interviews, summarizing decisions made by Supervisors, etc. I also have a Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram account that I post to on a regular basis. I also curate content from local media that is of interest to Newtown area residents (see here). I estimate I spend about 2 hours every day on these activities!

Was September an unusual month? That remains to be seen. Coming in October is budget season, which I am told requires a lot of time and effort. Stay tuned – I intend to continue to keep a record of my activities and report back to you every month.

In conclusion, I must say that it's really an honor to serve the community! I've learned a lot 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 running and safe!

Posted on 29 Sep 2018, 01:02 - Category: Governance

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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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