What’s the big deal?

Now let me see if I understand the facts of this horrible deed the county commissioners did by letting some of the county staff go home early after feeding them a free meal.

Or was it free?

It appears what the whole thing boils down to whether there is a specific policy that would address doing such a dastardly deed.

If there had been, and it looks like there will be one for the future, all would have been fine, except they did another unforgiveable act of not holding a public meeting (with all of its notices spelled out in another existing policy) before making the decision to throw away a bunch of our tax money for unproductive time and by doing so thinking it would boost morale within the department.

So here is my take on how to solve the whole mess from happening in the future.

The auditor’s concern has to do with unproductive time, getting paid during working hours while not doing the specific job one is supposed to.

The policy needs to address any/all nonproductive time spent at work. If not and should one/some occur, the auditor should report it just as quickly as he did with this one.

Some examples would be if he/others took an extended lunch, made a private call during working hours, or asked/was asked how his/their weekend was and time was spent answering or some fishing tale.

No unproductive activities would be allowed!

Unless there was a public meeting held to announce said unproductive time in advance. Then it would be OK as long as the policy addressed it specifically.

My advice to the commissioners is to get a reasonable policy in place that would allow you to do what is needed to get/keep the moral of the departments up.

As far as public meetings on this issue, I would think there has been enough public attention on this to last for the next 10 years at least.

In my “former life” (I’m retired now) I used to take my crews to extended lunches, pay for it myself, and would have them take off early on special occasions.

There were times when their jobs called for some extra/extended efforts and they always took care of things without any complaints and I wanted them to know how much I appreciated it.

I got away with it for years and no one ratted me out.

One question no reporter has asked during this whole ordeal is, what was the complete motive for the auditor raising the issue in the first place.

Was his sole reason being unproductive time or could there have been something gone on between him and the commissioners in the not too distant past that might have motivated him a bit?

So I say “Good on you commissioners for spending my money that way! Keep it up!”

Jim Allen

Ocosta