On one hand, the county insists that they are working hard to keep expenses down. The other hand is reaching for your wallet. It seems that the supervisors keep racking up more expenses for you and me to pay for. Some expenses are needed. Some are not.

One thing they've been doing is expanding government, creating new departments to hire new people, to do jobs that are already being done by someone else. These jobs require benefits and pay for the retirement of someone... I mean in other counties the weed guy is a part-time job absorbed by other departments.

It's all on YOUR dime.

Now we're on to HR. This is one job that from what I've seen is pointless. Convince me otherwise.

The HR person resigned effective this week. Now, if you know anyone who works in the county, and even better if you know a LOT of someone's who work in the county, you'll find that they think HR is one of the most useless jobs in the county. It was evident in this week's Supervisor meeting,

In last week's supervisor meeting, Supervisor Rick Primmer proposed for not only one person to replace the former employee but TWO.

Last week Auditor Haley Rippel reminded the supervisors that her office handles everything the HR office does, except for incidents of personnel disputes, kinda like the last lawsuit caused by the county attorney and HR and supervisors in the Atkinson case. The Auditor explained that her office has the ability to contract out for REAL personnel issues (like that one) if the need ever arose.

Primmer began patronizing Rippel telling her that "they didn't want to put more on her office." This week Seeman picked up the cue and repeated it. Rippel explained that she now has five working in her office, up from four that she previously had, and that they are very capable of answering questions. Primmer and Bierschenk also told her that she can't handle all of that "extra work", (that she's BEEN doing for years), but hey, she's just a girl with lots of girls in the office that actually DO what HR does. But why let them do their job when we can create yet another position?

At this week's meeting, the Recorder, Lexa Spiedel, Auditor Rippel, former Auditor Jill Marlow, and a county employee who called in, ALL expressed their disagreement with the move. Marlow suggested waiting it out for a bit to see if the county really NEEDS to replace the position. Marlow asked, "In the last 5 or 6 years how many times has there been a need for legal advice?"

Against all of the input by TWO department heads, and ONE former department head, and ONE county employee that was paying attention to the happenings, and the hesitation of ONE of the supervisors, the supervisors finally caved.

Immediately pushed himself to be on the hiring committee, without a discussion or approval of the remaining supervisors,the self-appointed, leader, proceeded to begin appointing said hiring committee.

In another snub to the new county attorney Ray Lough, who volunteered to serve on the committee, Primmer instead asked Lough's assistant Megan Hall to serve. It doesn't appear that there are any bridges being built to "get over it" for Primmer toward Lough.

I watched and rewatched and scratched my head.

Why is this guy so anxious to push this on the county?

Why the push to then be on the committee that hires a replacement?

Why did he select the Sheriff, snubb Lough, and pick Hall?

Call me cynical. There's nothing you can do to stop it. Nothing I can do. And for sure the other two supervisors haven't yet figured out how to stop him. Rules don't apply, ethics don't apply, now we'll have a position that no one wants, but him. Something's up. We'll have to wait to see who it is that he pushes to get the job.

But don't forget, the supervisors are all about saving the taxpayers money...just not this time, again.

04-18-2023 Benton County Supervisors Meeting - YouTube

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gs April 20, 2023, 1:15 pm Come on, like he said back in 2016, Gramps doesn't have any axes to grind, no agendas, he just wants prosperity!
That's why he wants to pay two unneeded salaries rather than use the highly qualified folks in Ms. Ripple's office. Perhaps he knows she's too much on the 'up-and-up' or ethical to do his bidding. Just because the people he represents elected several highly qualified women and Mr. Lough to serve doesn't mean he has to let them do their jobs. Man, Primmer County...sorry I meant Benton County has changed.
BT April 20, 2023, 1:34 pm Burr’s are piling up!!! From what I have seen in our local government the past several years, it really makes me sick. Aren’t there good, ethical, fair and law abiding people out there that want to step up and clean this mess up?
SG April 20, 2023, 2:04 pm It seems elected officials need power to function. Have you heard about the City's pressure on landlords? Please check into it and keep watching these people like hawks. The rest of us don't have time to, but we do have time to read your articles. Thank you again.

Editor's note: Yes, I'm aware of the proposed creation of a landlord ordinance...thank you for reading.
BA April 20, 2023, 2:08 pm What we need is an HR Specialist. One who could write the primer on how to skirt Veterans' preference laws. How to avoid conflict of interest.
SS April 20, 2023, 2:22 pm I thought the HR was pointless when I had to deal with her, just got the run around.
KB April 20, 2023, 2:59 pm I vote we hire some outside investigators to come in and investigate all the governing bodies in this city/county because it seems to me that personal agendas just keep getting to play out.

Editor's note: We do have good folks trying to hold the line, especially on spending. But some, not so much.
VB April 20, 2023, 3:38 pm Girl...you say ALL THE THINGS and I'm here for it. Great job.
CL April 20, 2023, 5:51 pm Since when does supervisor equal god? Someone is just a bit too power hungry!
KT April 20, 2023, 9:56 pm At the recent Supervisor meeting: The Auditor was trying to save the county money by handling HR problems for a year, to see how it went. Why can't that be held off to see if hiring an HR person is necessary?
JH April 21, 2023, 7:37 am It looks like Dave Thompson is still pulling the strings and Primmer is helping it happen.
GB April 23, 2023, 7:36 am Valerie, you really do good work!