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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Top heavy county

As a former county employee, I have concerns about a “restructuring system” that creates a “top heavy” administration — division managers, supervisors, and program coordinators — none carrying a caseload. Their caseloads will be dispersed amongst workers that already have huge caseloads. Is that an efficient and successful model?

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Hiring within occurred because the county adheres to a strict budget and will not hire new workers — not necessarily, because the best candidates were internal ones. As for the “expertise” of the Division managers, there has been no clarification of their education or experience other than to say they worked with certain programs.

Mr. Koering wondered if a person ever gets off of welfare? A complicated question with no simple answer. Motivation, support, and functional abilities are key factors.

A new, streamlined program will help with offering services, but won’t cure long term issues. (and some county service programs have waiting lists or funding limits) Closing cases sounds good on paper, but those that need the most support to become independent need active monitoring. And when one case is closed, another is opened.

Don Ryan makes the most valid point regarding this restructuring. One cannot measure human differences/situations with measurable objectives/numbers. To state that even with a yearly Radioathon to raise funds for child abuse , child abuse continues, is a naïve statement made by a person who has never worked “hands on” in a human services position. We are a broken society with rampant drug usage/poverty/violence. The Radioathon helps raise an awareness of this and puts money into community programs.

I would strongly encourage our county board and social services/public health administrators to spend one day alongside a county worker to see what is being done “in the trenches.” Anyone can sit back, crunch numbers, and streamline programs, but the most effective leaders are the ones that are willing to get their hands dirty and do the work they are asking others to do.

Jill Zauhar

Backberg

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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.
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