John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
My "Lazy" Summer as Supervisor, Part 2: Activities for August 2019

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.

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 account and via my personal 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):


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

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