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Cut the weakest Hall workers rather than furlough everyone

POSTED: July 1, 2011 1:00 a.m.

I noticed two plus years ago that surrounding counties including Gwinnett and Forsyth were making severe cuts to their planning and building inspection departments.

Let us not lose focus by seeing the hole and not the doughnut. These employees that were laid off received severance pay. No, it was not handled well, but the impact is not the $24,000 saved, but rather the approximate $2 million to be saved on an annual basis.

Again, I ask though, where were some of these cuts were two years ago, such as Planning and Building Inspection when virtually nothing was happening? Furthermore, I do not see private businesses having "furlough days." If you have excess capacity in the private sector, you cut it.

I do not understand the furlough concept. It is an admission that we can do the same with less. Rather than punish all employees, eliminate the least performing of the 1 out of 6 and let the other five feel fortunate and motivated. Sometimes productivity happens when less produces more.

In fact, better idea would be to let 1 out of 10 go and let the other nine know that one of them will be leaving in 90 days. You want to see people quit eating meals on the public's time and having personal conversations, I'll bet you that would do it. (One caveat: Not all employees or departments are the same. The ones who understand this are the ones it is addressed to. See Public Works, Planning, Building Inspections, Administration and Jail and Court System).

Notice I did not touch education, fire service or law enforcement. Give me six months and I will more than eliminate your $11.2 million deficit plus some. I just will not be popular with your relatives or friends.

I am not applying and do not want that job, but a strong outside, objective county manager would be welcome. In fact, a good candidate might be a former city manager that never received due process, was doing a good job and was run out of a judgmental community.

Doug Wiley
Gainesville



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