John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
My Supervisor Activities: March Came in Like a Lion and COVID-19 Made It Go Out Like a Lamb!

My Supervisor Activities: March Came in Like a Lion and COVID-19 Made It Go Out Like a Lamb!

In March 2020, I spent only 36 hours on official Supervisor business as COVID-19 forced the Township to cancel all meetings. Little did I know how prescient were my remarks a few weeks ago when I noted that March was coming in like a lion for us Supervisors and hoped it would go out like a lamb! [Read "February 2020: Another Busy Month! Marathon Toll Bros Hearing, LQBTQ+ Youth Get No Love, more...".] Compare that to an average of 63.5 hours per month for January and February - a 43% decline!

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
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, EAC = Environmental Advisory Council
After Newtown Township declared a public health emergency on March 13, all meetings were cancelled and there was not much for me to do as a Supervisor.

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.
Meetings

In March 2020, I spent 4.6 hours attending required BOS meetings and 5.9 hours attending "optional" meetings for a total of 10.5 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 sometimes in December), 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 March, 2020, I attended meetings of the Joint Zoning Council (JZC Definition) and Environmental Advisory Council.

In March, I spent 10.8 hours preparing for required Board meetings. This includes downloading and reviewing documents, including the Bills List (invoices paid by the Township), minutes of previous meetings, and police report.

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 March 2020, I spent 4.8 hours (13% of my total logged hours) interacting with residents. 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 04 Apr 2020, 01:16 - Category: COVID-19

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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