On Sunday, Aug. 27, The Billings Gazette published a section titled 20 Exceptional Women which featured Tina Volek, the city administrator. In the article it says she lead the city as its top official, and that she helped guide the Council. If anyone reads the City Charter they will discover the Council is the top position and the administrator does as directed by the Council. Yes, the Council is supposed to lead the city and the administrator, not vice-versa. This really is the way our city government is supposed to work, but everyone can see it works backward and the administrator has been in charge.

This is apparent when the Council agendas always state approval or disapproval of staff recommendation. Staff should bring forth both pros and cons of an item, not a recommendation. When is the last time staff brought forth anything negative to their recommendation or an alternative? How can the Council make a decision with only half the facts? The Council is supposed to decide, not rubber-stamp staff proposals.

Since the Council has failed miserably to lead one must acknowledge Tina Volek for stepping up and taking charge and leading – after all, that is doing the best she can do. I sincerely hope that a new administrator and Council will revert to doing the City business according to the Charter. The 11-member, voter-approved Council can do their best when they follow the Charter.

Tom Zurbuchen