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I have been following, with concern, the county’s plan to “restructure” the Social Service and Public Health departments. Mr. Leidl and Mr. Houle announced plans to create three supervisory positions instead of the several supervisory positions that now exist. Those positions would then be called program managers/team leaders. Reorganization is being “sold” as effectiveness and better “Customer Service.” What does that mean? Will the new supervisors have the skills/training necessary to assume the large leadership role they will be given? (As a county taxpayer I want to know what their education/training/job skills are?) Will current supervisors be reassigned to tasks they are not familiar with? Will they be “demoted” as a way to save county dollars?

I understand that all systems can be revamped and improved, but it requires sound planning and “common sense.” I have seen no mention of “restructuring” the county administrator or Human Resources positions, along with their assistants? Shouldn’t a reorganization include all levels involved. The highest paid salaries are at the top of any organization. I am so weary of seeing budget cuts in schools, the county, the state, etc with no or little “pruning” at the top levels! It is time for us to question this and not blindly accept it!

There has also been discussion of wanting to implement a “pay for performance” based wage. How does this objectively get measured? If one rates average in their job performance will that mean they will never be able to receive a wage increase? When working in the Human Service/Public Health field, do you compare how many customers are seen in a month or try to “rate” the quality of services? If you are going to try and sell this idea to the public, be specific with the details.

In the coming year, it is my wish that humanistic and sound fiscal decisions will be made in this “restructuring.”

Jill Zauhar


Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889