Last week I posted a rumor which, it turns out, is unfounded. Jim Matlock is not resigning, nor has he been requested to do so according to my sources. I do understand that he has been working on updating his resume, as his job position (as well as the others) has been posted by the Freeholders.
My question is this: just how many lawsuits is it going to take before the freeholders wake up and declare that something is amiss in the OEM/911 Call Center? So far my tally is one federal lawsuit, two state law suits, and four EEOC complaints. Two chiefs and a supervisor resigned under Matlock’s watch. Employees tell me that morale is at an all-time low.
I am certainly not an advocate of the Republicans going in and firing everyone that was appointed due to their Democrat affiliation. Just as I am adamantly opposed to the practice of hiring people as reward for party loyalty despite a lack of qualifications for the job, I am opposed to firing people due to no other malfeasance than belonging to the wrong political party.
A person’s decision to belong to one political party or another, or to be involved in partisan politics or not should not be a litmus test as to their ability to be employed by the local government. It is wrong, and nothing will ever make that right.
However, simply because we have a half dozen employees that may have been given jobs under the wrong pretenses, that is not their fault and they should not be punished for the misdeeds of prior administrations. If somebody offers you a job, you are going to take it. The only criterion that needs to be considered at this time is that of the qualifications of the people to hold their jobs. If, for instance, the State of New Jersey declares an employee “Unqualified” and as a result withholds matching funds towards the salary, then nothing else need be done other than to seek a qualified candidate to fill that position. This is especially true when the public health is involved.
When another employee is placed as a political favor, and his management style has destroyed the efficiency of the department and brought down lawsuit after endless lawsuit, somebody needs to wake up. One lawsuit is one thing – one lawsuit, and I would say there is a chance it is sour milk or retaliation by a disgruntled employee. But when these lawsuits turn into multiples, and when EEOC complaints become active investigations, it is time to suspect more than one bad egg (unless that bad egg happens to be the leadership).