Lovick pulls a “Reardon” and goes over the council’s heads again

Seems Lovick has given the voters a classic snub. He doesn’t care what we the voters want when it comes to keeping his buddies on our taxpayer funded payroll.

We reported earlier that the county council had eliminated Dan Christman’s illegal position with the Medical Examiner’s Office, much to the relief of many but Lovick went over their heads and kept him on and just decided on his own that he will continue to use our tax dollars to do so.

The Herald did do a story about it, so they are keeping up on it, but it was a citizen named Miller who explained it much better in the comments section. I don’t exactly know who “Miller” is, but we really need to get him/her to run for office in a few days

The bottom line is that there is no legal way or snake hole that can be used to justify what John Lovick is doing. None. Yet he continues…

Dan Christman will continue to run county morgue, for now

Miller  Miller 

Pretty predictable, but again not in alignment with the Snohomish County Code. Please refer to Chapter 3.68 – which is the chapter that applies to Exempt Personnel. That chapter covers Mr. Christman. There is NO provision to hire an employee at that level, let alone appoint him, to an exempt position. The chapter is specific as to what the Executive’s powers are, and like it or not Mr. Lovick, once again you don’t have those powers (or should I say Mr. Ericks?) So if you check back with the county, they will say that they have the ability to hire “anyone” as a temporary employee ~ Oh, no you don’t. Take a look at Chapter 3A of the Snohomish County Code, specifically section 3A.08.030 which covers types of appointments. Subsection 2 (Temporary Appointment) might apply as it covers “work which is temporary, emergency or short term in nature”. I think that reasonable minds can agree that this isn’t a “temporary, or short term in nature” position. As for emergency – well what is the emergency? Mr. Christman was charged with making a plan – he did that, the County Council rejected those plans so his work is done. So Subsection 2 doesn’t apply.

Another subsection that might apply would be subsection 4 which is described as “Acting Appointment. Acting appointment is a form of temporary appointment in which a regular classified county employee is given an assignment in a position in a different classification having the same or higher pay range, to replace another employee. The employee retains regular appointment
status in accordance with these rules.” This could work except that Mr. Christman is not a REGULAR CLASSIFIED COUNTY EMPLOYEE – oh darn. So, that just leaves one other option, which is subsection 5 which states:
“(5) Exempt Appointment. Exempt appointment is the appointment of an employee to an exempt position not subject to this title and shall be governed by the rules and procedures of chapter 3.68 SCC”

OK. . so back to Chapter 3.68 and here is the section that applies

3.68.055 Acting appointments.
(1) An acting appointment to fill a vacant management and exempt position shall be permitted during the recruitment and selection process, when such appointment is necessary to insure operational continuity.

Oh dear – now, I’m pretty sure that Mr. Christman was not appointed “during the recruitment and selection process” because there was not one. Which is why the County is now facing yet another lawsuit by a capable employee who wasn’t even given the opportunity to compete for the job. (See previous Herald Article http://www.heraldnet.com/artic….

And then there is subsection 5

“(5) Acting appointments shall not exceed six months unless an extension is granted by the council.”

So let us just pretend that Mr. Christmas was an acting appointment originally (although as reported and demonstrated here he was not) the Executive cannot simply hire him as a temporary employee AND he cannot extend his tenure without Council Approval.

What we have here ladies and gentleman is yet another example of an Executive’s Office that has no regard for the county charter and the powers of a duly elected county council. Councilmen Somers, Ryan and Klein did the correct and right thing in voting against the proposals. What the Executive Office is doing, and what their pattern of behavior continues to be, is to ignore law and do it anyway.

Next week potential candidates will file to run for office. We all need to hope that a good candidate will file for the office of the Executive so that we can clean up that office once and for all. In addition we need strong candidates for the County Charter Commission as they will be charged with making recommendations to changes of the county charter – and there are several that we need in order to ensure proper checks and balances of power and to provide the people with an easier mechanism to challenge that power when it is abused.

Please consider who you are voting for and who has your best interests at heart come this November