this weeks edition:
It’s about time…
The County Commission approved an “Anti-Nepotism Policy” at their most recent meeting. I must say its about time. I can attest to the fact that having family work for you in any business is tough. In government it reeks of improprieties even in the best of circumstances. There will always be accusations regardless of whether there are wrong doings or not.
One of the main purposes for establishing the Ethics Commission was to do away with the “good ole boys network” that plagued politics of yesteryear. I have learned, that all too often, how the question is posed to the commission often sways the answer.
From this desk, I have heard the outcry in recent years about relatives working for elected officials. I applaud the Commission for implementing this policy which should resolve all questions in the future. The policy is a tough one. According to Gary Ellyson, it is copied from Marion County’s handbook and was authored primarily by now Senator Mike Romano who is an attorney.
Here is the language, “The Braxton County Commission has determined that it will be in the best interest to avoid conflicts of interest between work-related and family-related obligations, avoid favoritism or the appearance of favoritism, and avoid family conflicts from affecting the workplace.
“Relatives of Braxton County employees may be considered when hiring an applicant. Relatives will not be hired if any of the following job relations or situations would result: 1. The supervisor is related to a direct subordinate, 2. The person interviewing the applicant is a relative. 3. The person recommending salary increase or promotions is a relative. 4. The person considered for hiring in the same department as their relative and absence by both would create a staffing difficulty. 5. No person will be hired to any position within a department when that individual’s relative is already serving in any position within the same department as an employee of the County. 6. No person will be hired if such hiring would result in a direct or indirect supervision conflict due to a relationship between the prospective employee and a supervisor, which falls within any of the relationships, described in the two paragraphs above. 7. No persons who are married, related, or in a relationship may be scheduled on the same shift because an absence by both would create a staffing difficulty.”
I would agree that some of the language is a bit vague, and may create some head scratching in the future. But I certainly think the policy as a whole is a major step in the right direction that should have been taken years ago.
It’s about time…
Commission. In the many years I have been behind this desk, I believe I have figured out the reasoning behind rate increases. If a utility gets in financial problems, or can conger up expense that they “have” to incur, the PSC will let them dump those expenses on the backs of the their customers.
The 9-1-1 fees on land telephone lines are controlled by the County Commissions of each county. I don’t believe the same approach the utility companies use should apply here. I questioned the Director and the Commissioner’s at last Friday’s meeting. There are a number of pieces in the puzzle. I want to see them all. That’s the reason I filled a Freedom of Information request last Friday afternoon to obtain the income and expense records of the 9-1-1 system. I intend to review them thoroughly. If I determine that the rate increase is “necessary” I will support it. However, it the facts don’t support the need, I will oppose it. Someone has to be on the side of the user here. In this case it is businesses and more importantly the elderly population of our county. We look forward to seeing what the facts say…
Will return soon...