By LeaAnne Klentzman
With the vote of Civil Service late last year and its adoption in March of this year, few, if any, of the realities of what it means have been figured out.
First off, what does Civil Service really mean and what is the purpose? As it was explained earlier this year by a lawyer who is supposed to be knowledgeable in these things, the purpose of Civil Service, while nice for employees to an extent, is really a tool to protect the County. Civil Service is actually a way to ensure that accepted rules and identified guidelines are followed by the government (elected official) that are in keeping with the laws of the state and federal government. You’d think they’d have to comply with that in the first place, huh?
So, Civil Service was adopted by the County for the Sheriff’s Office and took effect on March 2012. Then at the end of May, some eight weeks later, the heir apparent to the Wright regime lost the primary election bid for Sheriff to a former employee and sitting constable, Troy Nehls.
The stage is set; let the scramble begin! The current sheriff’s staff, along with the Deputy Sheriff’s Association has written the policy they expected the new sheriff to abide by come January 1, 2013.
At last week’s Civil Service meeting, one of the interesting stipulations in the guidelines came under question by Civil Service Board member Bobby Slavinski. He said that he had concerns with a particular section that states that if an “exempt” employee is reduced in rank or grade, they keep their current rate of pay.
Let’s take away all the names and personalities; for example: say one of generals (they don’t have any) is reduced in rank to deputy, then based on the way the current rules read, he would report for his deputy duty but maintain his general’s pay. All the gyrations aside on how the general got his initial rank or how he lost it, he still gets his $95k pay to do a $35k job.
Thank goodness someone was paying attention! Taxpayers are already paying to play. They don’t need to get hosed! If that is the way it is going to be, just add millions to the sheriff’s budget.
The law says that the sheriff gets to appoint 10 of his own administrators to run the joint. He can use 10 of the current ones if he so chooses; or not – his choice. However, the way the current regime has it written, if the incoming sheriff demotes anyone, they go to their new job but still get paid their hefty salary; if they agree to accept the demotion, that is. Good gig if you can get it.
Thank you, Mr. Slavinski for keeping the taxpayer in mind. How ‘bout you other two? Mr. Cantu? Based on your internet posts, droning lectures during the Civil Service meetings and your constant sifting of documents during those meetings, it is clear your loyalties are with specific employees, not the taxpayer and the county. Plus, you might want to be prepared to discuss the issues at hand.
Mr. Taylor? It is all on you – leader of the pack.
Keep in mind folks, we appreciate our law enforcement and know they do a hard job, but we want to pay them for what they do, not what they used to do.
We just want to rent them – not own them forever!