Our Opinion: Another slickering?

March 11, 2002

If we had to choose a term in vogue locally, we might be inclined to use "slickered through" regarding what may be going on with the intergovernmental relations director position in the Imperial County government.

That the county might not be able to afford such an expensive new position in times of tight budgets and that the county already employs a lobbyist and already gets legislative analysis from two organizations seem to be almost minor complaints at this point.

What we and others don't like most about this whole thing is that it smells of a setup. Now if it turns out that the man for whom the job seems to have been designed doesn't get the position it may show we were jumping to conclusions (although it might be that county officials succumbed to pressure). We likely will find out who has been selected Tuesday, according to what we have been told.


If you look at the qualifications for the job, read the questions asked of the candidates — and we were only given six of eight questions by the county, for some reason — and consider that a local man who is a finalist already seems to have extraordinary access to the inner workings of county government and tremendous sway over certain county leaders, it looks like a real grease job.

Three finalists have been interviewed for the job, and we understand our local persuasive guy is one of the three. We wonder how much county, meaning public, time and money was wasted on a bogus search if he was going to get the job all along.

Speaking of money, the person selected will get somewhere between $78,000 and $99,548 a year. That, combined with the support personnel the new bigwig will need and all the travel the job will require will cost the county a pretty penny.

What will this high-priced person do? Well he (or perhaps, but not likely, she) will analyze legislation's impact on county government and supervise assigned staff. He will work under the county executive officer and coordinate communications between the executive officer, county staff and governmental agencies.

Maybe the person selected will do a wonderful job and the money will be well spent. Maybe we and many others are wrong about all the behind-the-scenes machinations to hire one person. And maybe we will be proved wrong about this whole thing.

Then again, maybe this whole thing is being slickered through.

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