County flexibility | | Brainerd, Minnesota

County flexibility

Posted: December 3, 2013 - 1:21am

County flexibility

As a former county social worker, I have concerns regarding the county’s plan to be “flexible” and move workers into different job positions. Workers are humans and not game pieces to move around at will. A salary of $65,000 for a case aide who has a social worker degree, but no social worker experience seems absurd. A child protection social worker with 22 years experience makes that same salary. Even with a reimbursement to the county for that position, is that fair to the long time social workers?

Utilizing a financial worker to do “basic intake” and help out that unit is also a questionable plan. Child Protection and Adult Intake is rarely a “basic” responsibility. The majority of that work is dealing with crises and addressing complicated issues. Granted, another worker could be trained to give limited answers, but how will that be dealt with if their client contact becomes more complex?

Finally, Mr. Koering needs to educate himself on the jobs of county workers before he spouts off general statements about the $80,000-plus salaries. I don’t believe there are any workers that are not supervisors who earn that income.

And he should make the time to spend one day shadowing a county worker so he can see what their job entails. It would be a huge wakeup call for him.

I hope the county board and the county administrators will rethink their ideas of “flexibility” and how it will truly work for the county.

Jill Backberg


Don’t elect a loser

Recently I saw an interview on TV with Malala, the 16-year-old Afghan girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating education for girls. She was asked, “Are you afraid of the Taliban?” She said, “No. They were afraid of me; they attacked me.”

I compare this with letters to the editor attacking Stewart Mills. They must be afraid of him for some reason. The only reason they use for attacking him was because he is a successful, wealthy businessman.

Do we want to elect a loser to Congress?

We have a government that is constantly raising taxes, borrowing 40 percent of everything they spend and continually raising the debt ceiling to borrow more money. They are also constantly searching for more ways to spend money.

Two people have told me the owners of Mills Fleet Farm will not build another store until they can afford to. Wouldn’t it be logical that a man like this should be our representative in Washington? We can do nothing until November 2014, but until then, I suggest we could save a lot of taxpayer dollars by replacing Rick Nolan with a $10 rubber stamp.

James Kvam

Pine City