Taking the gamble was right call

Published 12:05 am Thursday, January 6, 2011

No one ever said being an elected member of the Adams County Board of Supervisors would be easy.

Rarely is every one of your taxpayer “bosses” happy. Each and every one of them seems to want something slightly different than the other.

Trying to keep everyone happy in that role is a losing proposition. That’s why we were particularly impressed with the tough, and potentially unpopular, decision made by three board members this week.

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After much debate, three of the five stepped up and agreed to hire the best person they found to fill the vacant county administrator’s position.

In doing so, the county will have to stretch its budget a bit to afford the new hire. In fact, the new administrator will be paid well above the rate of pay each supervisor receives.

It’s a bit of a gamble.

If the new administrator is as good as the supervisors believe, he’ll more than pay for his extra pay within the first year, and the three supervisors who stepped up to the plate will be heroes.

If his efforts fall short, though, the three supervisors will be accused of completely wasting taxpayer money and labeled as goats.

Given what we know of the situation — and the county’s dire need to have solid, stable leadership in the administrator’s office — we think the gamble is probably a good one.

We hope the supervisors — all of them — can agree to a set of standards by which they can measure the success of the new administrator.

Measure his success and if it comes up short, be quick to make a change, if necessary.