Friday, April 3, 2009
DISCUSSION: HAVE STARK COUNTY'S POLITICAL PARTIES GOTTEN OUT-OF-HAND?
The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report/SCPR) apologizes to those public officials and/or politicos who do not have a "place of honor" on The Report's graphic for the discussion about The Report's belief that there is a rampant use of Stark County (including municipalities, villages and townships) departments of government to provide employment (present and past) to those who work the political hustings for their benefactors, the benefactor's political friends in need or the Republican and Democratic party organizations.
The topic is especially relevant now with the troubles in the Stark County treasurer's office. Treasurer Zeigler denies that Vince Frustaci became a county employee some 9 years ago because of his political connections.
Well, pardon The Report's skepticism!
So, let's start at the base question.
Why is it a bad thing for a local government official to hire (or have a fellow local government official hire - in case of relatives) political friends and family for government jobs?
First, these are public jobs paid for by taxpayer monies and should be open for one and all.
The Report knows of situations in Stark County in which virtually whole families are employed in local/state (within Stark County) government. Some have two or three public sector jobs.
From The Report's standpoint this political reality is unconscionable at any time, but especially so when Stark has a 10.4% (Canton 11.5%) unemployment rate.
Second, how does one supervise "one's political friend" who "voluntarily" does political extras beyond the call of a given job's duty?
The Report has heard numerous accounts of folks who have gotten employed through the "political avenue" only to be found wanting in having the essential skills.
Does anyone remember Elizabeth Ray and Ohio Congressman Wayne Hays? If not here is a link to familiarize yourself.
Third, these employees grow too comfortable in their jobs. They stagnate, work over (i.e. "put them through unnecessary exercises) members of the general public who question their job performance and all too often assume a "my way or the highway" type of attitude. These folks become so ensconced and ho-hum about their jobs that when problems arise that require mental acuity to solve; they are without a clue.
When government employees cannot solve the problems of government, who do the leaders call in? You've got it. They call in consultants.
Who pays for the consultants?
You and I. We pay for the inept political appointee and we pay for the fix. Isn't that special?