Thursday, November 16, 2006

More MacNonsense

I tried to post this comment on the JT website, regarding calls for an investigation into Bill McReynolds personal phone calls while at work as our County Exec. My posts at the JT are sometimes denied because I have dial up service and the IP address sometimes matches that of a person who has been banned from posting. Anyway, here it is.

I am all for cleaning up government, but I don't understand this at all. Making personal phone calls from work seems to me a minor offense if that. The County Exec and Sheriff positions are not 9 to 5 operations. As such, any normal person would have to conduct some personal business during the day if, for example, he had a meeting in the evening. I suppose the answer would be to use a personal cell phone for such occasions. However, a call to Robin Vos, a friend, government official and business partner, could have elements of county business, friendship, and business related matters all in the same call. Do we really want to require our elected officials to use different phones for each aspect of a conversation? We could take this a step further. Suppose Mac is driving the CE car to an official function. On the way, he sees a friend. He pulls the car over to say hello. Should he be investigated for using a government car for personal use? Should he reimburse the county for the gas used while the car was idling? Should he turn off the ignition or would that neccessitate reimbursement for wear and tear on the starter?

10 comments:

eric said...

Denis, having worked on the federal dime for over 20 years, you do make personal calls from work sometimes. There usually is a written policy that exists that tells you what is allowed. So it shouldn't be that hard to tell whether you broke a rule and if so, to what extent. I don't know Billy Mac - I sat next to him once at a town hall meeting, but he took a cell phone call and had to leave early. My impression is that Bill has ticked off a fair number of people and that this investigation is payback. My perspective during the election was that Bill got a little cocky (I'm a Republican running for a Republican held seat, with lots more money than my opponent) and that he sometimes is a little caustic. You add these things on top of the fact he has held leadership/managerial jobs - where even the nicest/humblest will antagonise some by virtue of being "the boss". So it just looks like payback to me, and I wouldn't be surprised if they look for other things to investigate too. Do you know Bill Mac? I'm still wondering why I didn't see Kathy Stepp campaigning on his behalf?

eric said...

This just strikes me as payback. I don't know Bill Mac but my impression was he got cocky during the campaign (Republican running for Republican held seat, well funded)and that he could get caustic sometimes. Just being "the boss" always antagonizes some, but throw in political emotions and personality traits and you have a recipe for payback. I worked on the government dime for over 20 years - you have to make some personal phone calls from work, but there are usually written policy guidelines. Sometimes you have to negotiate gray areas. It just strikes me that there are quite a few folks who don't like Mac and it's payback time. Do you know him? I never saw Kathy Stepp campaigning for him?

eric said...

sorry, the site hic-uped and now you have two versions of the same thought.

Denis Navratil said...

Eric, I do know Bill MacReynolds a bit. A few years back, I ran for the CE post and finished third in a primary. Mac won of course. I have seen him here and there a few times since, exchanged pleasantries, etc... I spoke with him at some length during his recent campaign. I did so to investigate the claims made about the sale of the bumpers. I have never spent any time with Mac socially. I have no axe to grind with him, nor any reason to support him unconditionally. Why do you ask?

Anonymous said...

Elected officials are not employees and they are not management. They are elected officials. They are like independent contractors. They set their own hours, and (within the law) their own rules. They are hired by the people and the people decide to re-hire them or not at election time.

This is all partisan hackery to soften him up for an opponent, perhaps Kim Plache?

eric said...

Anonymous, I agree with your conclusion, but the County "Executive" by job title is management. Codes of conduct exist for virtually all levels and branches of government.

Denis, I just get the feeling Mac has rough edges that may be coming back to haunt him. Again, maybe there's nothing to it, but why didn't Kathy Stepp campaign on his behalf?

Denis Navratil said...

Rough edges? Perhaps. I have said, privately, that I don't get a warm and cuddly feeling about Mac. Maybe we are picking up a similar vibe. I voted for him because I preferred his political views to Lehmans. As for Kathy Stepp, I don't know. I wasn't aware that she didn't try to help Mac. If she didn't, maybe she doesn't like him or maybe she is just through with politics. Only she can answer that.

Wade said...

I don't think Mac is being attacked over this Phone issue becuase some people think he is a jerk or cocky or something. It is partisan hackery like Anon wrote, and the liberals/Democrates want his job and they fear that they cannot win on ideas.
I don't know Mac well at all, but I have interacted with him on a few occasions in which it seemed he was being himself as opposed to being political and he did not behave like a jerk, an ass, arrogant, or any of that.

Denis Navratil said...

Wade, you are right. I should clarify something. When I say I don't feel warm and cuddly towards Mac, it is not necessarily a bad thing. In my earlier days, I did feel that warmth from Bill Clinton. I was, in a way, seduced by it, as I am sure many still are today. I suppose it is simply an unfortunate reality that people may vote for the person they want to have a beer with, rather than the one who articulates and follows through on good ideas. Mac may have fell short in part because people did not feel a strong attraction to him on a personal level. Thats just my theory. Of course, Repubs got their butts kicked all around the country too, so that likely played a role as well.

Anonymous said...

From what I have learned, these repeated attacks are completely partisan. Ken Hall will announce that he is a candidate for CE within 2 weeks. Apparently, his solo accounting business is not doing very well that he seems to have ample time to campaign and think that he is a viable candidate for CE. (The guy has been in office less than 7 months. He cannot even begin to think that he understand how county government operates.) Others are looking to run, Kim Plache is not one of them (according to a verifiable democratic source). Unlike 4 years ago, I do not believe that there will be a February primary for the CE job. So, the Hall Camp plan is to kick Mac while he is down. As for Cathy Stepp, she did serve as emcee for the Republican election night event at the Mariott. Her relationship with Mac has been strained because of his reluctance to endorse her when she initially ran for senate in 2002.