Time to wake up voters!

By Frank Williford – The budget is being impacted by a bloated county payroll and in some areas an inefficient workforce and work structure. One department head, when asked, did not even know how many employees their department had. It is long past time to start contracting out some of the mundane tasks presently handled by county employees. Doing this would increase the enthusiasm and job performance of the remaining employees who would then be performing more interesting work. The Sheriff’s department took steps in this direction a year or so ago. It is long past time for other departments to do likewise while consolidating overlapping activities.

Is there a clear coordinated picture of how many employees the county actually has and what their duties are? I have my doubts. Doubts in no small way driven by the way prospective employees are selected. Employees selected with the employee in mind as opposed to the requirements of the job and the actual need for the job.

To anyone who has been observing employment activity at the county level it should be obvious nepotism and cronyism, related to employment practices, has almost become standard procedure. Has anyone wondered why the posting of job openings is almost universally subject to an “automatic” waiver of the ten day posting period? This is how county departments ensure the person they want to employ, whether qualified or not, gets the job instead of the most qualified available person taken from a field of applicants.

This practice ultimately gives rise to inefficiency and reduced quality of service.  By way of example, take the attitude displayed in a recent statement made by one of the County
Commissioners.

First he cast a vote against the proposed closing of the platting office. A proposal being considered as a much needed economy measure. Then the “excuse” he gave as a reason for his vote was …….employee(s) who used to do the job at precinct level will complain about doing the extra work!

HUH?

The platting office was selected for closure because there is not enough work to justify its existence. If a precinct employee really does complain about potentially doing a negligible extra amount of work, work they previously did only a short while ago, I suggest firing that employee and replacing them with the platting office staff who will be more than willing, and likely more able, to do the job.

This attitude is an example of what happens when cronyism rules instead of following procedures established for a sound reason ,which is, selecting the most qualified candidate from those available. Employment practice is just one more area in which it is time for the County to start following sensible procedures.

It is also time for voters to start paying more attention to the qualifications of the persons they elect. Time to wake up voters!

4 responses

  1. Senator Blutarsky

    Wrong, Frank !……..It is way PAST time for the voters to awaken.

    The ruling clique at County Court – Commish 1 & 2 & Riley, are failing badly in their fiduciary responsibilities. They exude a sense of “entitlement” to assorted discretionary funding, and doling it out to department heads and other employees in their personal good graces.

    Proper “stewardship” would operate on a clear set of principles, and not blatant pragmatism, some incredibly self-serving.

    The shenanigans downtown are a perfect endorsement for TERM LIMITS – I propose a strict 2-term limit for County Judge, and 4 for a County Commissioner………….I would extend some of those limits to every elected county office. We do not have government ” of, by, and for the people….” but of small groups.

    Lack of term limits in city & county government are as harmful to a free republic as they are in Austin and the swamp on the Potomac

  2. Senator Blutarsky: Even though I agree with your statement in paragraph one, I would remind you that a single paint stroke does not cover the whole crowd, unfortunately that generalization becomes to common today in our political discourse. There are people genuinely trying to serve the fine people of this country and those that have selfish motivations. So maybe we should point out specifically which you do well in paragraph one not only whom but additionally point out; how, what and in conspiracy with whom.

    A, “clear set of principles” layed out in your paragraph two, might better be followed with a statement; if we had such a clear defining document that all elected officials would follow indicating an unbiased definition that all entities were required to follow.

    Finally, please “Term Limits”, we already have Term Limits … it is called elections and recalls. What we need is an enlightened electorate that could stay engaged more than two minutes at a time.

    The real bad thing about term limits is when you get a good guy doing the bidding of the people, you really don’t want to see them leave …. admitedly, that hasn’t happened here lately as much as I would like.

    Finally, I am assuming that since precinct 1 & 2 seem to continue to support their Commissioners and haven’t started recall efforts on them or the Judge they are just satisfied with the status quo.

    This puts us all back to the responsibilites of talking and debate on all the real issues that confront us here in Parker County. Be prepared to not only debate the Commissioners on their attention to the needs of the people …. but be prepared to call up your neighbors over in the other precincts and discuss the issues with them …. give them your prospective and ask the hard questions, i.e., should our elected officials balance the budget and do it openly and on time, should government funding be growing or shrinking in our current environment. Of course there are many other questions to discuss, but the financial thing right now seems to be the current hot button.

    Here I will be brave, cut our current taxes, cut back on government growth, and balance the budget in July … ahead of time for a change. Jack C. Pickard

  3. Senator Blutarsky

    “Finally, please “Term Limits”, we already have Term Limits … it is called elections and recalls. What we need is an enlightened electorate that could stay engaged more than two minutes at a time.”

    Jack – when have we had that ?……….Your advocacy for unrestricted terms is the same flippant mantra incumbents like to use.

    Our Generation, a free market advocacy group released a research report which outlines the ways term limits benefit democracy. The report, “Term Limits: A Reform that Works,” was authored by term limits scholar Patrick Basham and edited by MacMillin Slobodien, Executive Director of Our Generation. The study details numerous examples of how term limits promote legislatures that create more energetic, independent, and effective deliberative legislative bodies.

    The study examines the historical role of term limits and then looks at the state-level term limit movement, which occurred in the 1990s. The findings show that the 15 states that have adopted and kept term limits are more effective legislative bodies. Among the findings are the following:
    — Term limits stimulate electoral competition;
    — Term limits enable nontraditional candidates to run for office;
    — Term limits weaken the leadership control and seniority systems in legislative bodies; and
    — Term limits promote public policies compatible with limited government.

    The report also highlights the need for term limits at both the federal and state level. In a survey that Our Generation distributed to voters nationwide, an overwhelming 96 percent of the respondents favored term limits for the U.S. Congress. The report also highlighted the fact that term limits lead to the election of candidates with real-world experience over career politicians; proof best demonstrated by examining the 15 states that currently have legislative term limits.

    Recall – maybe that fat lady hasnt sung yet, but is warming up her voice

  4. Bluto, good to see your passion again. I agree 100% on term limits! Term limits also stifle special interest groups. It also levels the playing field for freshmen,and provides the necessity for the electorate to stay engaged. However, all that said be careful not to kick down the wrong door.

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