The governance advisory committee has released a draft report to the paper recommending five new wards with unpaid volunteer commissioners and a paid executive that coincides with a timely, dare I say artfully coordinated article about the merits of county administrators. The committee strives to find a cost neutral solution for paying for an administrator and cites non specific revenue savings from undefined efficiencies that would be brought by a professional administrator. Doubling down the committee also urges that the county move to an all volunteer commission to cover the anticipated “conservative but competitive” recruitment, relocation, salary and benefits package to attract a public administrator because the committee “found itself unable to justify three full-time, salaried county commissioners”.
The committee did not consider an alternate means of paying for this new position. Instead of relegating the commissioners to unpaid positions, the elected county clerk, surveyor, assessor and treasurer could become volunteers and their administrative/oversight duties taken on by the new CEO and saving the county even more money. A professional administrator could probably take over the human resources department as well.
Outside of public outrage there is nothing to stop Messerle and Parry from enacting these sweeping changes before their terms end on New Year’s Eve and then there is nothing to stop the incoming commission from undoing the changes on January 2, 2013. Presumably, no action will take place until after the primary so believe me it is important to get out and vote.