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LETTER: Administrator's contract should be nixed

To the Editor:

On March 5, 2013 the St. Croix County Board of Supervisors will consider a five-year contract for St. Croix County Administrator Patrick Thompson.

The contract has been revised removing the deferred compensation and Exceptional Performance Incentive Compensation (EPIC) from the language. However, the added Pay for Performance (P4P) Incentive Compensation gives no hard numbers or basis of evaluation which leaves the door open for a blank check.

The language regarding termination and severance pay offer no compensation for termination due to a specific "good cause" action. However, if termination occurs "without cause," which may happen at any time by giving written notice, the compensation is equal to six months base salary.

The proposed county administrator's contract is shameful given that staff at the St. Croix County Health Center are adjusting to decreased hours resulting in increased health costs, which are on top of another 5 percent wage decrease.  

By statute the county administrator has not only responsibilities but power and, given the current trend, the ability of county supervisors to represent the people is quickly becoming compromised.

The sale of the county farm land brought in $3,506,980 less the auction fees of 4.5 percent; this is not even enough to begin to move Health and Human Services or upgrade 911. When Barry Hager stated to the crowd, just sit on this land and someone will come knocking; his statement could not have been more prophetic.

It is time to return to county supervisors speaking for the wishes of the people rather than having those wishes lost in the bureaucratic levels of the county administrator. I urge you to contact your county supervisor and tell them to vote "no" on the renewal of Patrick Thompson's contract.

It is time to return to a county coordinator.

Scottie Ard

New Richmond