Sunday, February 16, 2014

Houston, We Have a Problem Here!


by Ron Heuer, District 12, Supervisor
Schedule II employee salary increases.  This is absolutely a mess and one more time the taxpayers took it on the chin. The reason it is a mess, is, our county does not have a viable employee performance evaluation system in place. Salary increases for the Schedule II employees are simply justified by the Personnel Advisory Committee with little input from any source.

I sat at the table as this committee met (twice) and it was a matter of pulling numbers out of the sky.  For example, Mr. Dorner walked into the meeting with recommendations for five employees to be increased.  In a matter of minutes the list grew to nine employees, and then almost as an afterthought, Mr. Barlow suggested adding an additional $1,000 for the Corporate Counsel.  No justification other than that employee hadn’t had an increase for a while.  The following Board members are on this committee: Weidner, Barlow, Hutter, Wagner, Paphlam, Shillin, Sinkula Heidmann and Mayer.  Shillin and Sinkula were the only two members that voted against these increases.  At the December Board meeting, I made a mistake.  As in that meeting because when I presented a motion to table these increases until the January board meeting, I assumed the Personnel Committee would revisit the proposed raises and take action on them before presenting them to the board again in January.  I gave them way too much credit!  I forgot I was dealing with the government where common sense does not prevail.  However, following the December meeting I did send a letter to each of the board members with details of this salary increase in hopes they would take this issue up with members of the Personnel Committee.  Guess what?  With exception of two board members, nothing, nix, nada, zero, zip, was done with this information.  The do-nothing board one more time lived up to its reputation and delivered to the taxpayer another unjustifiable salary expense. The motion was brought up again in the January meeting and I again offered a motion to send it back to committee to have them do their homework and that motion was defeated.  The December Motion that was tabled was brought up and that passed; the following people voted against these salary increases Larry Kirchman, Ron Heuer, Dennis Cravillion, Linda Sinkula, Donald Delebreau, and Kaye Shillin. The rest of our voted for the mostly unwarranted raises.
Have you heard the Kewaunee County Highway Commissioner is retiring?  Commissioner Dale Jandrin announced his retirement to the full Board at the October Board meeting.   Not so fast! Now, at the County Highway Committee of Jan 21, it came out that Mr. Jandrin is lobbying with the County Administrator Mr. Dorner to resign (not retire) from the position as Commissioner and would come back into the Kewaunee County Highway Department as a hourly wage employee. 

This is a bad idea for the following reasons:  An employee who holds what would be considered a Director level position (Commissioner) has forged relationships with their staff; there are loyalties to consider.  Normally that Director knows the operation very well and forgets he is no longer the boss.  This causes conflict with the staff.  What about those employees that were disciplined by the resigning Director who now is working daily with the person who handled their disciplinary actions. Will or would this perhaps cause dissention within the workforce?  Also, the new Director just coming into the organization has to deal with the likelihood of being undermined by the previous Director both with the office staff and those employees with loyalties to the previous Director.
Are we setting yet another precedence with this kind of appointment? Should this be left up to the Administrator to make this kind of “deal” for an employee? Should this not be a decision made by the board? Let your District Supervisor hear your position on this. Call the Administrator and let him know your thoughts. Mr. Dorner has not yet made a final decision about this.
Twenty-two months ago at the second board meeting I attended I correctly observed that the only way we could change things in this County would be to change out some of these board members who are not adequately representing the taxpayers of this county.  We now have, for the first time since 2000 a good number of qualified, concerned citizens who are running for the County Board. 
Now it’s up to you!  Notify friends, relatives, in-laws, outlaws, neighbors, and all those who are registered to vote.  Make them aware how important it is they vote in this election.  Encourage those who are not registered to vote to get themselves registered and to participate in this important election.  If you want further details or be part of my newsletter recipients email me at: ronheuer@gmail.com