John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Open Records/Transparency Category

My November 2020 Supervisor Activities: Interacting with Residents

In November 2020, as Bucks County continued in the COVID-19 "Green Phase", I spent about 32 hours on official supervisor business. Seventeen percent (17%) of that time was interacting with residents via phone, email, and social media mostly answering questions about the preliminary 2021 budget that was approved for advertising at the November 25, 2020, Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting. Read summaries of the November 10 and November 25 BOS meetings.

The height of each bar represents total hours spent on official business that day. This includes time spent at meetings. Blue indicates I attended a required meeting that day, orange indicates that I attended an optional meeting that day. This year to date I've logged on average 46 hours per month compared to 59 hours per month in 2019.
BOS = Board of Supervisors, EDC = Economic Development Committee, JZC = Joint Zoning Council, EAC = Environmental Advisory Council, PC = Planning Commission,
FC = Finance Committee

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.

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 November 2020, I spent 5.4 hours (17% of my total logged hours) interacting with residents in my official capacity as supervisor. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, I am using Zoom to meet with residents. On November 9, I hosted a Meet Mack Monday Zoom meeting, which focused on the proposed 2021 budget.

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

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 Dec 2020, 01:18 - Category: Open Records/Transparency

My October 2020 Supervisor Activities: Lots of Meetings!

In October 2020, as Bucks County continued in the COVID-19 "Green Phase", I spent 60 hours on official supervisor business. Over 23 hours were spent attending meetings! I'm happy to report that Board of Supervisors (BOS) public meetings in October were live and allowed members of the public to attend (masks were required). Read summaries of the October 14 and October 28 BOS meetings.

The height of each bar represents total hours spent on official business that day. This includes time spent at meetings. Blue indicates I attended a required meeting that day, orange indicates that I attended an optional meeting that day.
BOS = Board of Supervisors, EDC = Economic Development Committee, JZC = Joint Zoning Council, EAC = Environmental Advisory Council, PC = Planning Commission,
FC = Finance Committee

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.

 

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 2020, I spent 7.3 hours (12% of my total logged hours) interacting with residents in my official capacity as supervisor. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, I am using Zoom to meet with residents. In October, I hosted two Meet Mack Monday Zoom meetings.

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

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 05 Nov 2020, 12:54 - Category: Open Records/Transparency

My August 2020 Supervisor Activities: A Very Busy Month!

In August 2020, as Bucks County continued in the COVID-19 "Green Phase", I spent 56.3 hours on official supervisor business. That's a lot of hours for the month of August, which usually sees less scheduled activities. With meetings being held via Zoom, however, there was less need to cancel meetings, of which there were many this August!

The height of each bar represents total hours spent on official business that day. This includes time spent at meetings. Blue indicates a required meeting was held that day, orange indicates it was a more-or-less optional meeting.
BOS = Board of Supervisors, EDC = Economic Development Committee, JZC = Joint Zoning Council, EAC = Environmental Advisory Council, HRC = Human Relations Commission, NFA = Newtown Fire Association, TCC = Bucks County Tax Collection Committee

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.

Lots of Meetings!

You would think that many meetings would be cancelled during the summer when most people are "on vacation," but no! I spent nearly 19 hours in August attending meetings! It's all due to COVID-19: (1) many people have not gone missing on vaction, and (2) Zoom makes it all too easy to participate in meetings even though you may be on vacation!

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 2020, I spent 8.0 hours (14% of my total logged hours) interacting with residents in my official capacity as supervisor.

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

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 05 Sep 2020, 01:49 - Category: Open Records/Transparency

My June 2020 Supervisor Activities: Getting Back to Normal

In June 2020, as Bucks County moved into the COVID-19 "Green Phase" when some businesses re-opened, I spent 56.2 hours on official supervisor business. Although that's still below the average of 63 hours per month in January and February before COVID-19, it is well above the 33 hours for June 2019. There were more committee meetings to attend, which required more preparation time.

The height of each bar represents total hours spent on official business that day. This includes time spent at meetings. Blue indicates a required meeting was held that day, orange indicates it was a more-or-less optional meeting.
BOS = Board of Supervisors

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.

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 June 2020, I spent 6.6 hours (12% of my total logged hours) interacting with residents in my official capacity as supervisor.

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

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 05 Jul 2020, 01:08 - Category: Open Records/Transparency

My May 2020 Supervisor Activities: Preparing to Come Out of COVID-19 Lockdown!

In May 2020, as the COVID-19 shutdown continued, I spent only 35.1 hours on official supervisor business. That's well below the average of 63 hours per month in January and February before COVID-19. Fewer meetings, however, were canceled and the meetings that were held were via Zoom, which has its good and bad points (see box below).

The height of each bar represents total hours spent on official business that day. This includes time spent at meetings. Blue indicates a required meeting was held that day, orange indicates it was a more-or-less optional meeting.
JZC = Joint Zoning Council Definition, BOS = Board of Supervisors,

Open Up Zoom Meetings to the Public!

At the May 27, 2020, BOS meeting, I continued to press for Zoom public meetings where members of the public could participate. I said, "Since it appears that we will continue to hold 'public' meetings via Zoom, I would like that these zoom meetings be open to the public for participation instead of the current practice of only allowing comments via email. That was fine for the red phase, but we need to get more back to normal during the next phases.

"The more Zoom 'public' meetings are hosted by Newtown Township (BOS meeting, PC, etc.), the less actual public input we get. Zoom technology allows the meeting leader/moderator to add attendees with their microphones shut off as a default. If anyone wants to speak, they can click on 'raise your hand' and the meeting leader/moderator can turn on the mic. This was done successfully at a recent Wrightstown PC Zoom meeting attended by more that a dozen residents. It is extremely simple to run a Zoom meeting and have mics of certain participants muted until they use the "raise hand" feature of Zoom."

Unfortunately, my request was denied! (View the May 27,2020, BOS Zoom meeting here.)

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.

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 May 2020, I spent 4.5 hours (13% of my total logged hours) interacting with residents. This includes a 1.6 hour Meet Mack Monday meeting via Zoom. View the video archive of that meeting below.

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

  • Newtown BINGO! Read more about that here.
  • Traffic issues at NAC event.
  • Discussion of COVID-19 task force to help open businesses.
  • Newtown Economic Recovery Committee

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 01 Jun 2020, 01:05 - 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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