Tuesday, March 29, 2005

What's news?

Above the fold:
(photo of March 24 newspaper, above the fold)


Nice big photo of snow on the trees.

Trying to improve traffic flow at the post office.
(Confidential to Fred: if you hadn't given those hundreds of thousands of dollars to the forces of darkness, you could buy a left turn lane and make us all happy...please, next time use your powers for good)

Below the fold:
(photo of March 24 newspaper, below the fold)A crisis: NID's likely to have to raise water rates.

And a Grand Jury report on county mismanagement and intimidation of county government staff by (unnamed) members of the Board of Supervisors.(*)

In a way this is progress; at least the news wasn't obscured by a misleading headline and bumped to the back page.

Yubanet provides text and comments on the Grand Jury report (PDF), which seems a quiet piece of prose. An excerpt of the least quiet parts:
  • Numerous sources confirm that in recent years, members of the Board of Supervisors have publicly criticized and demeaned department heads during BOS meetings.
  • Some employees have reported feeling vulnerable and fearful of losing their jobs whenever there is a change in the BOS majority because current and former CEOs have not always acted as a "buffer" between the BOS and County department heads.
  • Neglect of crucial fiscal matters in at least one department in the past was eventually discovered through a change in leadership and corrected by Administration staff.
  • A climate of fear exists when employees see managers being publicly demeaned by BOS members, high level employees leaving in significant numbers, and what they perceive as micro-management occurring

Those gentle (post-election) newspaper editorials match the report's tone nicely.

2 comments:

Russ Steele said...

Anna: In reviewing the Yubanet article, I found it interesting that the two prime micro-managers were interviews and they talked about civil treatment of the staff, not micro-management. The Grand Jusry, should have been looking the RQC volunteers who were working in the departments, helping drafting ordances and regulations, with the concurance of Peter and Barbara. Talk about micro-management.

Russ

Anna said...

Hi Russ, thanks for your comment.

I find it very frustrating to read a report like that one, whose publication is presumably supposed to benefit the public in some way, and find that it's primarily a he-said-she-said document that never bothers to share any evidence upon which I could draw my own conclusions. Result: it becomes a Rorschach test for the preconceptions of the reader.
For example: is the report using "micromanagement" literally, or as a euphemism? There's "setting policy to the last millimeter" micromanagement, and there's "that guy contributed to the wrong candidate, so don't give him the variance he's asking for" micromanagement. And - never having worked there, and only having heard one story (of the latter ilk, from many years ago) - I can't say.