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County commissioners set precedent by giving raise

I saw an article titled, “County offers pay raise to keep Bradley,” in Monday’s Sun where our county auditor managed to get himself a 21 percent raise.

How? By comparing himself to the “private sector” and creating the illusion to the county that he is irreplaceable. There is one thing about working for the government, and that is you don’t ever compare yourself to the private sector.

And a “mantra” the county uses with employees unhappy with their pay, position or working conditions is “leave … you are replaceable.” Yet the man who sets the standards and procedures is allowed to walk right through the very door he guards so fiercely. And make no doubt he did it audaciously in the open — he applied for other open positions. He got himself down to be a finalist to be interviewed for Minot’s city manager position and then called the Stutsman County commissioners and said, “umm … I have another potential offer.”

The commissioners panic, hold a special meeting and bingo — money the county does not have for benefits, roads, anything they have voted against due to a lack of funds is suddenly created to give to a man who wants to leave a raise.

Am I a former “sour” employee? Yes I am. Basically the Family and Medical Leave Act was reinforced, and after my husband’s injury I was so stressed out —both personally and professionally — I finally just left one day. I was told repeatedly, “if we let you have more time,we have to let everyone have more time.” But if I hadn’t had a bean counter tracking my every hour I had to take off with no pay, it might have been better, and I might not have had to leave in a fashion that was less than professional.

And setting a precedent? Well county commissioners, like it or not, they just set one — a big one. All department heads will eventually use this as a reference point at some time in negotiations. Enjoy the county morale. You created it.