I would like to express my heart-felt thanks to the county commissioners for seeking ways to trim the county budget-even if it means taking crap from those who have no idea what they are to do, and from those who have previously walked in their shoes. The commissioners are to be the budget watchdog and must be willing to take the heat for decisions they make.
The issue that seems to have gotten people's shorts wadded up is the non-renewal of the county administrator. The past administrator was employed at a salary of around $53K (he was also likely collecting a retirement from the county for previous positions held). He claims that he saved the county slightly over $93K. Putting those numbers in the calculator, I determine that he barely saved the county enough to pay his salary; if he would have saved the county $900K there might be an argument to keep the position.
The administrator position is layer of bureaucracy that answers to the commissioners and not to the people. The current commissioners are taking back what is rightfully and lawfully theirs.
There is the argument that 50 counties maintain the administrator position. That is a weak reason for having one. We do not have to "keep up with Jones." Popularity does not equal correctness. Real leaders do not necessarily go along with the majority: probably one reason this decision has drawn fire: they are being leaders.
It has been said the budget is very complex and occupies 80% of their time. What did the former commissioners do with all that "extra time" they realized by having and administrator? That is one thing about which they will likely not give a straight answer.
I also read where one of the former commissioners indicated that dropping the administrator position was a foreshadowing of the commissioners doing some shady book keeping. Do you not think that a non-elected person controlling the records could also find ways to launder things? There are checks and balances set up within the system to prevent this, and if funny things begin to happen, we would be getting repeated visits from the Attorney General's office.
Our current commissioners would much rather be operating their own businesses, and not dealing with the headaches that come with being in public office, but they are willingly sacrificing their preferred livelihoods to do what is necessary to help Washington County become the Lighthouse Along the Ohio River that will draw attention to wanderers from across the state and across the country on how to efficiently operate.
A final word to our commissioners: Keep up the good work!