I cannot think of proper, print-friendly words to represent what came to mind when reading the recent update on the mishaps of the RREDC (“Zander’s Continuing Adventures,” Nov. 19). Not only were we caught with our pants down in the global economic situation (think: potential window for applications of grant monies) but we were getting spanked right in the middle of it.
Reflecting a bit more, there is one word that comes to mind that can be printed: accountability. Or, more to the point, the lack thereof. In your piece, you pose the question, “How did the man ever get hired?” I would like to get a simple answer to: “Who was tasked with the background checks?” As someone who hires people I understand how references should be weighed in the overall process of hiring, but you damn well can confirm dates and school records. Reading through the different players and perspectives, all I see is a pass-the-buck mentality. No one is actually owning the mishap and admitting a screw-up. No one is being accountable. What needs to happen is simple: Sort out who blew it, reprimand them or ensure they are not allowed to make such decisions in the future without supervision and proactively create a set of procedures and policies that the individuals have to follow in the future. You know, take a bad situation, own it, learn from it and move on.
I see a constant stream of this kind of behavior happening on the state and national level, but how are we supposed to hold them accountable when it doesn’t start right here on the local level? I know a few of these people personally and they are smart people, but what I am not hearing is ownership of the mistake and a policy to move on to avoid anything like this in the future. The local economic development group here is a tight clique. Maybe they should begin to look outside their circle for people with business acumen and job creation success under their belts to help the county push forward? I am personally still waiting for an answer to just how many jobs the industry-cluster strategy of economic development is actually creating with all the money bestowed upon it.