Letter: Need for county administrator
To the editor:
A recent published report that Leavenworth County commissioners have increased the County Infirmary's operating subsidy by $541,500 the last three years and might have to increase the 2001 subsidy by a million dollars is the latest example of how the county commission is unable to efficiently manage day-to-day county operations. Commissioner Bob Adams says it has taken him five years to realize that the infirmary cannot be operated without ever increasing subsidies. The county commission is so out of touch with the infirmary's problems that they decreased the infirmary's annual property tax subsidy by 75 percent between 1999 and 2000. No wonder greater subsidies are required.
The county commission needs to hire a professional public manager to manage the day-to-day operations of the county government. I am confident that it would not have taken five years for the county commission to realize the financial straits of the county infirmary if they were working with a professional public manager.
However, the county commissioners won't hire a county administrator on their own because then they could not justify their $40,000 annual salary. Yes, during the last five years in which the county infirmary went $541,000 in the hole, maybe $1,541,500 in the hole after this year, the county commissioners were paid $600,000 to manage county operations so public funds are not wasted.
It is time for the county commission to hire a professional county administrator. If it does not, the county's day-to-day operations will continue to be mismanaged and more public funds will be wasted paying for the county commission's management mistakes.
David A. Greenamyre,