A Better East Texas: Local Government Decisions - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

1/4/2007

A Better East Texas: Local Government Decisions

I understand this past Friday Governor Perry gave county governments the option to close in honor of former President Gerald Ford. Well, of the seven counties I surveyed in East Texas here are the counties that chose to remain open. As you can see only one decided to close, Smith County. And this is in addition to state offices. I'm curious, exactly how does closing a county or state office honor a dead president? Did you know government workers were paid for this day off?

Please don't get me wrong. President Ford deserves honor and recognition from all of us. I just don't see how giving these employees a paid day off at your expense honors the former President. I'm sure president Ford would have been more honored if our state and county offices kept their doors open to announce one way they will be more efficient and customer conscious in 2007.  Maybe I'm missing something or perhaps someone out there can enlighten me.

The death of a former president has a huge impact in Washington, D.C. and a recognized day off for federal workers is a little easier to accept. But the only way we are going to make this A Better East Texas is if our local government decisions are driven more towards customer responsiveness than bureaucratic tradition

 

Viewer Comments:

It seems that you feel the need to attack government, state, and county employees for offices being closed during the normal work week. This morning you were reporting on Smith County not being able to give you the total amount the county paid for the employees to be off when you felt they should have been working.

Have you ever considered that the employees that you feel the need to scrutinize are paid the same amount of money each month no matter how many days in the month that they work. Most people are paid by the weeks or days that they work. But as a state employee I get paid the same amount of money for working 4 weeks as I do for 5 weeks. I guess if you wanted you could look at is as donating my time on the 5th weeks. But I don't look at it that way...I look at it as one of the prices I pay for the benefits that I do have. We do get holidays off and that is a perk. But we also are not paid as well as the people that work for private business. I have worked for the state for several years and I left state employment for a company that more than doubled my salary. After being gone for 3 years I have gone back to working for the state.

I have watched KLTV for many years and I must say that since Mr. Streit has started his commentary I really don't enjoy it as much. He seems to want to start a fight with anyone and everyone. If he wants to talk on the show let him report the news....the real news.

Kristy Alexander

 

Do you have any idea how underpaid Smith County employees are already?  How they were in most departments expected to complete 5 days worth of work in a 4 day week (or do you have such a cushy job that no one expects that of you)?  These people don't make much money and get even less recognition from the town big-shots such as yourself.  Get on another soap box. I am proud of the Auditor for not wasting her time to give you a monetary figure for the wages for the day off. Yes, she could figure it out: annual salaries total divided by work days per year to give an amount for a day. However, they have real work to do for the people of the county, not some yahoo with nothing better to do than rant about a few folks getting a break. There are much bigger problems in this county than a small benefit given to hardworking county employees. The commissioners keep spouting how they want to run the county like a private business, but they don't pay based on that buzz phrase.  Do better homework about your next pet issue.

Patti Cox



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