To The Daily Sun,
The rot in Belknap County government runs wide and deep. One only needs to look at the current so-called budget crisis, as defined by the county commissioners, whose budget would have raised taxes on every taxpayer in the county. There is a phony crisis because the Belknap County Delegation voted down their inflated budget and passed a budget that does not raise taxes, knowing all along that the commissioners always have the power to move monies from one line item to another as long as they do not overspend the bottom line number in the approved budget.
One of the problems faced by members of the delegation when they were considering the proposed budgets was the unreliability of the budget numbers presented to us by the county administrator on behalf of the commissioners. As we received a series of one budget worksheet after another, the numbers kept changing, including the numbers for the already long-closed out year 2015. How could that be, I asked?
I said in a public hearing that I had advised business-owner clients for 40 years or more and that if a client presented me with the fluctuating and obviously incorrect or incomplete data we received and was told that this was prepared by his or her accounting and finance staff, I would have advised the client of mine to fire the entire staff and start over with qualified, competent people.
With a brief investigation, I learned that the present county administrator was hired by prior county commissioners and without requiring her to meet their own specifically defined “minimum qualifications,” namely holding a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university with a major in accounting. Her own resume indicated that while she attended “Plymouth State College” from 1981 to 1984, she did not indicate that she held any type of degree, whether a Bachelor’s or anything else. Most people’s resumes that indicate college attendance indicate the type and date of award of any degrees or certificates, if any were actually awarded.
Her prior employment at the town of Gilford involved a background check when she worked there, according to her resume, from 2001 until April 2008 when she applied for her position at Belknap County. I have been formally advised that prior to being officially hired, she was the subject of a background investigation performed by a Gilford police officer. That report acknowledged that she did not have a college degree at the time she was hired; and there is no additional information contained in her personnel file that would indicate she obtained a college degree during her tenure working for the town of Gilford (which ended when she moved to Belknap County about seven years later).
As if hiring a person for county administrator who did not meet the stated minimum qualifications and without any waivers of that educational requirement being sought or obtained was not bad enough, prior county commissioners signed an employment agreement with her, initially drafted by her, that contains no fixed term. In other words, it appears on its face to be a “lifetime” contract that can only be terminated for cause or by paying her a full year of compensation and benefits. Wouldn’t we all like to have such an employment agreement? And at taxpayer expense!
It is long past time for the current county commissioners — Messrs. DeVoy, Taylor and Waring — do their duty and terminate the present county administrator for cause. This is a scandal that has been swept under the rug for much too long.
If you agree that a change should be made, please contact your county commissioners and your elected state representatives who constitute the county delegation.
State Rep. Norman Silber
- Written by Mike Mortensen
- Category: Letters
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