I have heard slick clever politicians with carefully crafted words all of my life, but the announcement that Jay Knight wants to go from Dayton city councilman to County Judge exposes him as neither slick nor clever.
Read just one quote of many from his announcement: “County employees know their jobs and what it takes to expedite their jobs in both a timely and fiduciary conscious manner. Although, everyone involved in our County government and services must become more efficient at using what we currently have to work with, I think that if these folks involved are better informed of our economic situation, and believe that they are a part of the solution to an economic problem, then they will work together and diligently for options to alleviate this problem.”
I called one of my friends that works for the county and told him that he needed to read his wannabe boss’ pandering. If we ever have a Judge Knight he thinks the employees being “better informed of our economic situation” is an important part of any solution to the county’s woes! You just can’t fix stupid. This man better get a better stump speech or someone may try!
I am told the current County Judge, Craig McNair, sat and listened while one Commissioner insisted he had to have money for uniforms for his workers because every other commissioner bought some for theirs. Really! Starting providing uniforms is that important while we need more deputies on duty.
Judge McNair continued to listen while one commissioner opined about not having enough money to fix all of the roads in his precinct. Really! He wants enough money in this years budget to fix all his roads. Roads in every county in the state are prioritized and fixed as the money and the manpower allows, but this rookie commissioner wants us to bankroll him to fix them all this year?
Some may say this County Judge is not listening, I say he is not stupid. I could never have stayed quiet while one department head said she could not afford paper for the copiers. Even though paper cost less than 3 cents a sheet, she said the county would get $1 a copy but she just can’t fit more paper in her budget. Really! It is ashamed we cannot send this employee to a junior high school economics class. Or maybe she would do better in homemaking eco where she would learn to list your priorities first when making a budget. For years county employees have been arguing they need more money by choosing something they figure everyone will want them to have and saying if their budget is not increased this can not be bought. You just can’t fix stupid. Buy the paper as a top priority and the money spent will increase the amount of money in your budget ….. duh! But some of the other things in your budget, like uniforms, you may have to wait until better times to purchase.
The County judge has listened. The County Judge has spent a good bit of time with Sheriff Rader. He has correctly tried to guide commissioners and department heads toward using their own knowledge of what they can get by without to try and hold the budget down so the Sheriff can start accumulating the assets previous administrations should have when they were frittering their budget away on things like a secret inactive special task force.
I could go on and on, but let me just say this. Jay Knight needs to lose the not very well hidden insincere compliments to employees which he obviously intends to replace raises. He needs to stop trying to make it sound like the problem is his opponent is inappropriately giving raises to a chosen few. He needs to stop acting like the McNairs being gone on weekends occasionally is the problem. The problem is Liberty County is in the same economic struggle most counties are in. He needs to be open and honest with questions like:
Which county employees would he give a raise to?
Would he have refused the federal money that built the new center in Liberty even though the only decision that was made was the location? Liberty County or elsewhere?
Would he go further than McNair has in “listening” to county employees? The facts being that McNair has had an open door policy all along plus he has had numerous workshops with opportunities for communication for all employees from department heads to the lowest paid county employee. What would he do if some employees persisted in saying nobody is listening to them simply because he did not agree to increase their budget?