By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Public Works director sues county administrator

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Comments

A New Generation

Boy, the County can really pick ‘em. Where do they find these folks? Who hired this clown? After reading all the drama surrounding this guy, he sounds like Captain Qweeg in The Caine Mutiny, with Mr Huffer as Mr Christian! I feel for the employees. Maybe Mr Huffer just doesn’t like fish, eh?

tagup

Assuming the facts are correct, 7 days to respond to allegations and not being supplied with all the pertinent documents sounds unreasonable.......a little common sense by the county would be an improvement.....But your right, where do we find these folks?

Stella

What does Ken Hiuffer do? Promoted SIX times in TWELVE years per News Register article in January.

Not impressed. The Commissioners do not need an "Assistant Admin" - we pay them enough already to research whatever they need to research without bias

fir tree

Stella, the history of the County Administrator position is that in 2009 there were commissioners who had a habit of not showing up for work, therefore they created the highest paid position in the County to do their work for them. At the same time, the new County Administrator decided she needed a Deputy County Administrator position so two completely new (highly paid) positions were created. The Deputy Administrator position has been renamed to Business Services, but that's only because the position needed to be hidden so it was renamed. With benefits, these positions suck hundreds of thousands out of the budget every year. There was no logical reason for either of these positions to be created except that there were commissioners who didn't want to(or maybe couldn't) do the job their predecessors did for decades. Both positions should be done away with immediately. The County Administrator position is the highest paid position in the County.

Stella

Fir Tree

Thank you for the history. We need to get together as taxpayers and rethink how we vote. Working together we can get rid of those two positions and vote for Commissioners who are our voice and put taxpayers first. Thank you again for the history.

Mike

fir tree. Thanks for the history. Conservative Kathy George and Leslie Lewis controlled the Board decisions at that time. I agree not too fiscally conservative. However, a professional manager for a multi million dollar complex organization seems reasonable. Elected citizens to a policy Board do not have what it takes to run a big organization effectively. When you carve up administrative duties to elected citizens you get silos which create real administrative problems. Just look at Portland.

A New Generation

Interesting thread. Methinks there's more and we'll be hearing more about this story. It will be interesting to see how it unfolds. Quite the cast of characters.

Jeb Bladine

Yamhill County has employed a top administrator for decades, with titles such as Budget Director, Administrative Services Director, and Administrator.

In 2009, the county changed from a "weak administrator" to "strong administrator" organization, giving the top county administrator hire/fire and other authorities that previously were held by elected commissioners. It was a well-considered reorganization intended to add professional consistency and efficiencies to a growing county government.

As reported, there was a Assistant Administrator position added at the same time. Eliminating both position to save money is not realistic in today's more complex world of local government.

A New Generation

Wasn’t the story about the removal of the Public Works Director? Where’s the follow up to that?

A New Generation

Was he fired? Seems like there’s a story in there somewhere...

A New Generation

Was he fired? Seems like there’s a story in there somewhere...

Ossie Bladine

New Generation: Phelan's employment status was unknown when this story was published. We have since learned that he was fired. There will be a followup story in Tuesday's paper about it. [A previous comment from a staffer with wrong information was deleted.]
Ossie Bladine
Editor

tagup

Granted that I don’t know all the facts, but this sounds like another questionable HR move.

fir tree

@tagup - questionable HR move? At Yamhill County? Here we go again. IMO, I predict a bigger lawsuit ahead solely on the basis that constitutional protocol was not followed.

tagup

That’s why I said “another”....I thought a lesson might have been learned from the past, but maybe not....big wrongful termination issue if Starett gave the go ahead....

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