John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
My Supervisor Activities: April 2020 Was The Cruelest Month!

My Supervisor Activities: April 2020 Was The Cruelest Month!

In April 2020, as the COVID-19 shutdown of business as usual in the Township was in full swing, I spent only 19.5 hours on official Supervisor business. That's well below the average of 63 hours per month in January and February before COVID-19.

I attended only one "Special" Board of Supervisors meeting via Zoom that lasted about one and a half hours and a Planning Commission meeting via Zoom that lasted just over one hour.

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.
PC = Planning Commission, 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 account and via my personal account, and via phone and/or Facebook.

In April 2020, I spent only 1.8 hours (9% of my total logged hours) interacting with residents. This does not include a one hour Facebook Live Meet Mack Monday event (read "Summary of April 20, 2020, Meet Mack Monday via Facebook Live"). What did I discuss with residents? Here’s a partial list (some items are not included for confidentiality reasons):

  • Ideas for using Nextdoor to help local businesses. This inspired me to create my list of Newtown Restaurants Doing Business During COVID-19, which you can download here.
  • When will the Supervisors make a final decision on the Toll Bros proposed development? the answer is when the Township allows a face-to-face public meeting of the BOS. For background on this issue, read "Residents Urge Newtown Supervisors to Abide by Spirit of Conservation Management Zoning Ordinance"
  • Discussed the consensus of the Planning Commission regarding the E-30 Zoning Amendment that would allow a Wawa or Wawa-like combination gas station and convenience store somewhere in the Jointure. For background on that issue, listen to selected recordings of Discussions of E-30 Zoning Amendment

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 May 2020, 01:08 - Category: Open Records/Transparency

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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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