The latest chapter in the embarrassing lack of transparency in Blount County government is the Evergreen Employee Classification and Compensation Study Final Report finally being made available to the public seven months after the commission voted to follow its recommendations. Yes, the commission adopted the recommendations of the Evergreen Solutions study even though it wasn’t finished at the time it was voted on.
The commission received a draft version, a few days before the commission meeting, containing 3 of the 5 chapters after I (Tona Monroe) asked if anyone had a copy of it and was informed by the HR Director that she hadn’t given the Commission a copy yet because it wasn’t finished. Commissioner Jamie Daly then asked for the draft version, which we received a few days prior to the vote. Apparently Mayor Ed Mitchell, Human Resources Director Jenny Morgan, Budget Committee and the HR Committee don’t think you actually need to read some thing before you vote on it. To make matters worse, the commission was asked to vote on budget amendments last month and this month, pertaining to the new Evergreen pay scale, without having a copy of the final report.
The Mayor appears to be right proud of his making the final report available to the public after the Evergreen pay scale was adopted and implemented as public policy, so much so that a link to the report appears on the homepage of county’s website. You can read the final report here. The draft version is available here.
Notice in the letter included with the draft version that the HR Director says, “I will send the chapters (Chapters 1 and 5 which weren’t finished) to you as soon as I receive them.” She did not follow through as she said she would. The study appeared on the County’s website likely in response to my formal open records requests for the study.
The final report simplifies Exhibits 3A and 3B, giving less information about each Department under office holders. For example, Information Technology is listed as having the longest tenure of any Department in the draft version but that data is rolled into another Department in the final report.
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