Monday, June 05, 2006

The New Gov Stomps The Throttle

On the State of Idaho's official webpage, you can find a recently posted photo of our new Gov. You will also see his photo showing up in Agency headquarters, and on state web sites.

Gov Risch has ordered agencies to get rid of old letterhead bearing Kempthorne's name, and to replace it with Risch's name. In previous years, the agency was allowed to use up the old stuff. I guess this new Gov doesn't have the luxury of time.

He's certainly moving fast to put his prints on the state function. Today he appointed a new Director of Idaho's largest state agency, Health & Welfare. I think that's crass and presumptuous.

Has anyone heard complaints about the previous H&W Director, Karl Kurtz, or about how the agency functions? I haven't, and I work for the state. It looks to me like Risch settled some score with Kurtz, or perhaps Risch just wanted to affect change at the state's largest agency and thereby increase his stature. Or maybe there is some calculation about how this will help Risch retain/regain the Lt. Gov spot and eventually the Gov job again.

Risch's announced reason is the department "can do better". I applaud a push for excellence. However, don't you think that you'd give new marching orders to the current guy rather than just summarily sacking him? I suspect some other motivation. (Admittedly, I view Risch's actions with a jaundiced eye.)

Risch has only seven months in office, and only five until a new Gov is selected. I think it's presumptuous to fire the Director of the biggest agency when a new Gov will be coming on board so soon. Such a big change should be up to the new Gov.


Jessica said...

I have worked directly with H&W and the agency is a disaster. They need to not only replace managers, but regular employees who don't know how to do their job.

slfisher said...

Yes, I worked for the Legislature this session and there was a lot of dissatisfaction about Kurtz and a consensus that he would be replaced by a new governor this November.

Alan said...

It's good to hear from some folks who actually are in the know. I guess the Statesman hasn't reported on such problems, or I just missed it.

Seems like you're both in favor of Kurtz moving on.

Sharon Ullman said...

There have been some serious management and financial problems at H & W, starting at the top. Karl Kurtz is a likeable fellow who meant well, but it was time for a change and I believe Governor Risch was correct in making it happen.