Grand Island Supervisor pushes for open posting of Town Jobs

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By: Nathan McMurray

Grand Island Supervisor

You would think that all jobs in Grand Island are openly posted. They’re not. And I have been deferential to the decisions of our department heads. You see, most of the people who work for the Town do a very good job. Still, the process never sat well with me. There’s too much nepotism, too many related parties though blood ties or some other bond.

And so, when yet another recommendation to hire a former elected official came across my desk, I opposed it. I put forward a resolution requiring open hiring (by posting on the Town website and Town Facebook page) for all Town positions — no matter how small. After all, a small job to one person might a life saver for someone else.

It passed, but not easily. One councilperson voted no, and one fought it until the last second.

There is a problem — which I will fight till the end.

The problem is that there is something to see. The system I fought against is creeping back. It’s a system that protects and coddles some and destroys others. It’s a system where if you’re in, you are way in, with pensions, attention, and praise. But if you’re out, stay out.

Now, you may point to my Deputy Supervisor (a man I first met three years ago) as a symbol of my reflection, but such a comparison denies good logic and common sense. My Deputy Supervisor works for free, although I have two paid political appointments I could, under the law, pay him. I never would, and he doesn’t want it. He does this work out of love for his Town. His partnership has helped bring millions in grant money, and his expertise is invaluable. He’s the best. If anyone else wants to work for free (e.g., cut the grass for free) I’ll take them too.

I will continue to tear apart the insider’s game. Open posting is just another step, as was passing a term limits law and inviting cameras into our public meetings. Both were the right things to do, just like every other decision I made as Supervisor. I tried to do what’s right, not what will get me votes. And if all this fighting the system means the system comes back to throw me out, so be it. I’m here for all of you, not just a select few.

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