WHY can't we force them?


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

I've never forgotten the moment in the film "The Robe" when Richard Burton says to Jeff Morrow, commander of 100, "Obey me, Centurion!" and Morrow slaps his Roman short sword against his chest and says, "MAKE, me Tribune! MAKE me obey you!"

As you may remember, he got his wish.

Along those lines, I read the article about the need to call in county Public Works staff to man the snowplows during winter snowstorms. It referred to the possibility of adding a stipend to overtime pay for those public works employees who show up--for a salary as high as $35 an hour if the stipend is approved.

Steve Stratton, director of the Public Works Division told the Gila County Board of Supervisors at its Decemmber 18 meeting that sometimes the county simply doesn’t have enough people to respond.

Danny Savage, also with public works, added, “We can’t force them, so we want to try to give an incentive and be competitive with the state.”

Two things about that last comment strikes me as odd:

One, when I was working for the State of Arizona as a teacher it was made clear to me that getting a job was dependent upon agreeing that "as needed" I would show up for "extra duties"--with NO additional pay, no overtime, no stipend, no nothing. And so, as regular as rain, there I was at night or on weekends doing what I agreed to do in my contract. So WHY can't Gila County require public works employees, who get an overtime pay rate for doing it, to come in "as needed?" I really like to know the answer to that question.

Two, just why does Gila County have to be "competitive with the state?” Are jobs so plentiful these days that we have to fight to find someone to fill good paying county positions which come with health benefits and all the other perks, including a nice retirement?

Do police officers and fire fighters have that "can't force them" privilege?

Do you suppose that the APS employees who have to get out in the forest at night in miserable conditions--night, snow, rain, wind--to get our power on "can't" be requiired to show up for duty?


Pat Randall 4 years ago

Unless the county employee has been drinking alcohol then he/she should get out and do thier job. They are being paid overtime. I don't know if they sign any contracts when they are hired but I am sure they are glad to get the overtime.
If as Mr. Stratton says they don't have enough employees, maybe they should hire more instead of giving stipends to the ones they have. And take some of their pay when 6 of them are standing around watching one person work while they lean on a shovel and B.S.


Tom Garrett 4 years ago


I once read a book about one of the railroad lines that were laid across the nation back in the eighteen hundreds. The estimated time to lay a section of some track or other in California (heading east over the Sierrras) had been 30 days. After eight weeks the foreman wired back, "Am getting way behind. Desperately need 3,700 more shovels."

The answer?

"Shovels scarce in California. Have to come around tip of South America by ship. Gold seeking miners have snapped up every last shovel in town. Suggest you have the men lean on each other."


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.