Nepotism in our County Government
It has recently come to my attention that our County Clerk’s son works in the County Clerk’s Office. That sentence alone should alarm everyone, but when it was brought up at the latest Quorum Court meeting it was just brushed aside. Only two of the eleven Justices showed any concern at all. A recent audit of the county government even found that no law was broken. How is this possible when the Union County Employee Handbook states that nepotism is not allowed? Actually, it’s quite simple. The nepotism in the County Clerk’s Office is possible because the original ordinance forbidding nepotism was not very well written. The nepotism ordinance states that a supervisor or elected official can’t hire a family member to work under them. Our county clerk defends having her son working for her by reminding the Quorum Court members that her son was already working in the County Clerk’s Office when she was elected, therefore, she did not hire him. This is classic use of a technicality to get around common sense laws.
In just about any private company, if two family members are working together and one gets promoted over the other, of even if a supervisor is hired and it is found that the new supervisor’s relative is now working under him/her, then one of them will have to either quit or be transferred. But that’s not what Union County law says. So apparently, nepotism will continue to go on in our County Clerk’s Office because of a technicality. Most of our JP’s see no problem with it, I do.
Anyone who understands the nature of human beings would have a problem with this situation. Our County Clerk stated in front of the Quorum Court that she does not sign her son’s time cards. She has someone else do that and she understands that her son cannot move from part time to full time while she is in office. With that in mind she thinks that everything is ok. I’m sorry, but that is not how people are. Let’s say that you are a mid-level manager and your boss’ son works under you. You are well aware that he is the boss’ son and you are going to treat him differently than you would other employees. You’d be a fool if you didn’t. So don’t try to tell me that the county clerk’s son doesn’t get special favors. He is the boss’ son.
There are two ways that we can solve this dilemma. One, we can work to get the nepotism ordinance changed so that this sort of thing is outlawed. One of our JP’s is willing to address the issue and try to change the wording of the ordinance. Unfortunately, he is one of only two conservatives on the Union County Quorum Court and any and everything he tries to bring up gets pushed aside by the other nine. A Republican on the Quorum Court is but a voice crying out in the wilderness. It is brutal to watch how the other JP’s treat him. Or two, we can elect a different County Clerk next year. And while we are at it we need to elect more conservative Justices of the Peace to our Quorum Court.
People don’t seem to understand how much the County Quorum Court affects our everyday lives. Even if you life in the city, you still have a representative on the Quorum Court. We need to pay closer attention to what goes on in our county government. I’ll talk more about this soon.
John A. Wilson
Conservative Action Project of Union County