Town manager talks to students about municipal government

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

“Ask not what your town can do for you, but what you can do for your town,” a talk by Plainville Town Manager, Robert Lee, was hosted by the Tunxis Community College Civic Engagement Institute, on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Before beginning in Plainville in 2004, Lee studied political science at Rutgers College in New Jersey. After college, Lee worked in municipal government in East Hampton for 11 years, and in Hebron for 14 years.

Lee explained that as a town manager, he serves as a sort of administrator of town business, in all aspects of local government except the Board of Education.

For those who were not interested in a career in municipal government, Lee advised them to consider volunteering because it allows one to “make a difference” in the lives of others. In Plainville, for example, there are many boards and commissions that are manned by volunteers who have an interest in that area, such as the Aviation Commission.

Also presenting at the discussion was assistant town manager, Scott Colby. Colby explained that he did a one-year internship in Plainville before being hired two years ago.

Both Lee and Colby said they enjoyed that their jobs allow them to work on something new and different each day. And, Colby said, his work allows him to “help make a difference.”

The Tunxis Civic Engagement Institute is a campus organization that strives to share knowledge and information with students, in hopes of creating “good citizens and neighbors.” The C.E.I. provides forums, guest speakers, and other forms of “intellectual exchanges,” in addition to activities that occur in the classroom.

Comments? Email tmurchison@BristolObserver.com.