Union backing Olson | RecordCourier.com

Union backing Olson

Lynn Muzzy


What does it mean for Douglas County tax and fee payers that one of the county’s major public employee unions has officially endorsed County Commissioner Mike Olson for re-election?

Ostensibly, a public employee union negotiates pay and work rules with you, the taxpayer. But if your political representatives on the other side of the table are on the make for union campaign contributions and volunteer help, your interests may be subordinated.

For example, the TransparentNevada.com website for Douglas County employee compensation shows that the pay for some employees can include up to 40 percent in overtime. Excessive overtime is usually a symptom of a temporary short staffing situation. But this level of excessive overtime goes back to at least 2007, which would indicate that the work rules are being gamed. One Douglas County union president was recently reported as having taken credit for using union clout to defeat a county commissioner in the last election for failing to play ball with his union’s agenda. The TransparentNevada numbers seem to confirm that public employee unions do well when they get to pick their political bosses. For the county’s tax and fee payers, not so much.

It’s time Douglas County voters got their own special friend on the County Commission. Barry Penzel, who is running against Mr. Olson, wants to put the voters first. Mr. Penzel brings integrity and leadership skills developed during his career in military service along with the strong financial background of a successful entrepreneur. Mr. Penzel is running to see to it that the county residents get their money’s worth by bringing some badly needed expert fiscal oversight to the county budgeting process.

It’s time for a change.

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