2008-03-08 / Editorials & Letters

Bowling Green 'watchdog' questions pay inequity

Editor:

First off, let me say that I am very humbled and grateful for all of the positive feedback via email, phone calls and personal contact. It sure makes it worth all of the time and effort, if you know people are starting to take notice and get more involved with our local politics and happenings. I would like to say "THANK YOU" to Charlie Prince, for allowing us the platform to voice our issues and concerns. He should be commended for allowing the BEACON to "shine the spotlight" on all of our local GOBs (good ole boys) networks, as never before. With this BEACON shining, the back room antics will be moving out into the open more and more.

WE THE PEOPLE need to get out of our comfort zone and take back control of our government, at all levels. To me, the time to do this is NOT even when you vote. It should start way before hand, by really checking out the person you intend to eventually vote for. My intent is to assure that I provide plenty of information to the people in our township before the next election rolls around. No matter who runs, we need to have well informed voters going to the polls. Plus, I would love to see the day we have a 90% + turn out at the voting booth. Now that would be newsworthy and an accomplishment that would get us some national attention!

Now to a short township topic for this letter! It deals with the "town bully" and how his local GOB friends will do anything to help him get more $$ and are even doing so "after the fact" now. Mind you, based on our township's size, all of our township workers are "part-time" and their hourly wage schedule is normally set at each yearly organizational meeting. There is a different rate set, depending on what the employee does, be it drive a snowplow, backhoe, dump truck or is just a helper. Here is the odd thing; the "town bully" gets the "highest" rate, no matter if he "pushes a broom" or "directs traffic" or whatever he does. Why, because he supposedly is in charge of the other employees! But we have no foreman or superintendant position. So my question is, exactly what do we pay the three trustees for then? Well their quite "generous" compensation package will be detailed in another letter, so stay tuned for that. It will be a surprise to many I am quite sure.

Several workers have already questioned this pay "inequity" issue; Trusteee Jeff Chorpenning tried in vain to change it, but was overruled. The GOB side is, we need him to control the rest of the workers, since they "will only stand around" if we do not have him there. Interesting, as these are all pretty good workers in their own right. Why even have them work, if they do not perform their assigned job functions in an acceptable manner? Basically this is what proper supervision/management is all about. I say, GOBs, I say "it`s time to get doing it"! Mind you, the township has no written job descriptions, no employee handbook, no job appraisals, not even what I would call a basic employee fileto speak of. When Trustee Chorpenning has tried to talk about doing any of the above or go to an "executive session" to try to discuss a personnel-type problem/issue, he is either ignored or just overruled by the GOB network. The old "we never needed that before" and "we don't need it now" rule seems to apply.

Something just transpired at the last trustees meeting which deals with pay and again involved guess who - the overpaid "town bully"! It appears that this employee somehow spent 2 1/2 hours cutting up a tree that had fallen onto the roadway. He obviously got his higher hourly wage, but somehow (don't know yet how/when) he used his "own" big saw to do this. He then requests that the fiscal officeralso pay him for his use of this "personal" saw. This is "after the fact" mind you, which was interesting all by itself, since you have to wonder which trustee even authorized him to do this in the first place. The odd part was, when Trustee Watkins asked him, "Well, what do YOU think it`s worth? The worker replies, "$15 hr". Guess what, that is exactly what the GOBs vote for. So now we have this part time employee getting approx. $26/hr. pay to go out and cut up trees in the roadway, all "after the fact?"

So I ask you, does this show the township in a "proactive" or "reactive" mode? Are trees going to fall into the roadway? Happens all the time! Do we have any saws available? Yes indeed, we have two of them shown on the inventory. Do they both work? That is questionable! Could we have anyone volunteer to do this same thing for say $15/hr? Yes, indeed we could.

Am I going to write a formal letter to the Board about this issue, yes indeed! So read more about this on the Bowling Green township website, after the next meeting. Thanks to Trustee Chorpenning, you can also listen to the new "podcast" if you have time to visit our local "theater of the absurd". Will "WATCHDOG" Kern Bowling Green Township

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