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
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!
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!