Times – I get it- You people are Clueless
I read your last opinion and have sat back to see how clear your crystal ball is. I think we already know that you do not read your own paper, but this opinion has some questions, I thought we would help you sift through it and provide a rebuttal or two.
The premise of the article seems to be that there was a leadership void that will cause issues because the Times doesn’t understand the impact of the spending plan and there is a lack of quality candidates. The day before the opinion the Times reported that County has slim pickings for administrator. But to start to get the picture, you have to combine two of the articles: County has slim pickings for administrator and Hall’s interim finance director to leave job July 8. In the article about the finance director, Lutz was quoted as saying, “one candidate who was offered the job turned it down”; whereas in the slim pickings article the Chairman was quoted as saying, “some potential candidates were discouraged from taking the position by the lack of benefits.”
The Truth has dug into the grapevine to see the difference in benefits. Hall County’s website says that “Hall County realizes that our most valuable resource is our employees. That is why we provide you with one of the area’s most progressive and comprehensive benefit programs to ensure your current and future financial security.” Was it vacation? Well, according to the Hall County Handbook an employee can accumulate 4 weeks of vacation after only 5 years. Is it sick leave? According to the Hall County Handbook an employee accrues 5 days annually with about 4.5 months maximum accumulation. Is it Health Insurance? The health plan looks very robust with only a $300 deductable. Was it retirement? The County offers a 401(a) and 457 Deferred Compensation Plan (the the county match is not funded for this budget).
The story is, the commissioners made an offer to a candidate, then changed the deal to not offer retirement in order to discourage external candidates from taking the job. The commissioners wanted a rookie in the CEO seat.
The Times, however, won’t write that opinion. Instead they would like to say, “the poorly conceived termination of three top county employees in January” caused the problem even though they admit that the “well respected professionals who” were brought in “proved to be good at their jobs.” Basically, the article is about the Times running around like the Chicken in the rain saying that the “Sky is falling, the sky is falling!” Well, I guess we can say that the Times’ crystal ball is cracked; within 4 days of their opinion a county administrator was selected.
Alas, you would think that an organization that has become the mouthpiece for the Chairman would have a clearer vision on the goings on at the commission; however, it is no longer surprising with this editorial board.
Hugh Hall County Akston