Hiring from within was a good choice in Canton

Apr 18, 2017

Canton leaders made short work of one of the most significant issues facing a town manager form of government — naming the single employee who answers directly to the board.

Board members learned on March 23 that current manager Seth Hendler-Voss would work his last day on May 31, a date which was recently moved up to May 12. Surely the wheels started turning in the heads of the mayor and board members.

The single person they rely on the most to carry out their visions and policies is the town manager, who, in turn, supervises all other town employees. If there is a single person that is absolutely key to making a town run well and as envisioned, it is the town manager.

Before Hendler-Voss was hired, the town board conducted an extensive application and interview process, including a chance for citizens to meet the finalists.

Assistant Town Manager Jason Burrell was one of the finalists three years ago. After being passed over for the job, he stayed on with the town and assumed a key new role — that of overseeing the economic development push as outlined by the board. When people across the county look at all that’s been happening in Canton, its economic development success is regarded with envy.

Burrell has also played a key role in developing the town’s budget, working with its employees and interacting with the community in his seven years working for the town of Canton.

These are undoubtedly a few of the reasons Canton leaders felt they didn’t need to look far and wide for a new town manager. They realized they had the perfect candidate ready to promote.

The move was not only a sensible one, but is an action that should just about eliminate the learning curve as the town marches forward with the many initiatives now underway, including completing its pool project, continuing its economic outreach and working to provide the type of community in which individuals and businesses will want to settle.