Friday, February 07, 2014

The Peter Principle - at city hall??

According to the indisputable source of wisdom Wikipedia:

The Peter Principle is a management theory which suggests that organizations risk filling management roles with people who are incompetent if they promote those who are performing well at their current role, rather than those who have proven abilities at the intended role. It is named after Laurence J. Peter who co-authored the 1969 humorous book The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong with Raymond Hull. They suggest that people will tend to be promoted until they reach their "position of incompetence".

Some city hall watchers could be forgiven if they concluded this principle was alive and well at city hall. Every time you turn around city hall is hiring a consultant or commissioning yet another study to perform a variety of tasks you might hope the high-priced staff would be capable of doing all by themselves.

The most recent glaring example of this involves the $75,000 Watson report which basically was deemed necessary because the Mayor and City Manager weren't equipped to do their jobs. We now have to hire different consultants to aid city hall with the implementation of the recommendations that came out of the study.

You might have hoped a mayor in his sixth year in office and city manager with at least two decades of experience would already know how to do their jobs.


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