At last week’s Schuylkill County Commissioners work session meeting, the topic of respect came up during a public comment period.
Ironically, it was one Commissioner lecturing someone from the public about having some respect.
We find it ironic because, despite how you might feel about his point, the last people in the area that should be lecturing people about respect is anyone at the Schuylkill County Courthouse.
Man, These Commissioners, They Got No Respect … No Respect, I Tell Ya
The lecture about respect came from Commissioner George Halcovage. Now, let’s put aside the big issue hanging over his head at the moment and focus on why we think this particular incident shows a stunning lack of self-awareness, be it from Halcovage or anyone at the Courthouse.
Halcovage took offense to a comment made by persistent nemesis Jeff Dunkel, a Palo Alto resident who’s already launched an informal campaign to unseat someone on the Commissioners board in the 2023 elections.
Dunkel made reference to former Human Resources Director Heidi Zula. He called her by a nickname … Heidi “Go Seek”.
Now, you might take umbrage to Dunkel’s use of a nickname. And that’s OK. So did Halcovage and he interrupted Dunkel to tell him about it.
“The person has a name. I don’t want you disparaging our employees,” Halcovage said. “Have respect for people.”
In other words, the Commissioner’s trying to say Dunkel’s got no respect.
The former Mayor of Mount Carbon took offense to that rather quickly and it soon turned into a Rodney Dangerfield routine. And that’s pretty much where we come in, pick up the ball, and run it into the end zone.
“I don’t have respect for people that don’t have respect for others,” Dunkel snapped back. “That’s why I don’t have respect for you. Because you don’t have respect for the women that you victimized. I don’t have respect for her, either!”
That pretty much put an end to Dunkel’s comment period. But it only starts our routine on how the Commissioners have no respect.
These Commissioners Have No Respect …
Again, we’re going to leave out what some might perceive as the obvious irony here with Halcovage lecturing anyone on respect as it relates to respect for employees. That’s all speculation and hearsay until some court rules otherwise. This isn’t even about the former HR Director at the Courthouse.
This has everything to do with the glaring lack of respect the County Commissioners have shown and continue to show their constituents (aka the people that pay the bills for them) regarding the vacant Human Resources Director position at the Courthouse.
These guys got no respect …
It’s been 4 months and they still haven’t hired anyone …
The Commissioners surely must have known that Zula was leaving her job at the Courthouse back in April. That’s when she got hired by Harrisburg schools to be the HR director there.
You’d think this would provide enough impetus to get on the recruitment horse and start looking for her replacement. But, presumably, the Commissioners and their Administrator did nothing.
Last Wednesday, Commissioner Gary Hess provided the only details on the candidate search and said, “Interviews were done” to find Zula’s replacement.
Four months since knowing about an impending vacancy and all they’ve got are some completed interviews?
Man, the Commissioners got no respect …
They hired a company for HR Services at $215 per hour …
To fill the void created by Zula’s departure, the Courthouse hired a third-party firm, Hubric Resources, to provide HR services. It’s the second round of using this company for this specific purpose. And the Commissioners didn’t blink when they saw the cost … $215 per hour. That’s right … $215 per hour.
It’s about, using a rough and generous estimate, 10-times more than the average professional in Schuylkill County can make at their job.
The County has set aside $149,000 for Human Resources expenses, presumably to pay Hubric.
… And they didn’t tell anyone about this until almost a month later.
Talk about no respect. These Commissioners have such a lack of respect for their constituents that they waited almost a month to OK this ridiculous contract with Hubric. The contract was formally approved at their June 8 meeting.
But the contract was retroactive to May 17. Rather than approving it prior to actually signing the deal, they waited until after they were already on the hook for at least 3 weeks of bills from the company.
These Commissioners had so much respect for you and the money you pay them that they decided to let you know well after they’d already contracted this company – at this rate – for weeks.
So, do the Commissioners really want to talk about respect?
This is only the latest in a growing list of secret – and definitely disrespectful – actions regarding the Human Resources department at the Courthouse. It’s easy to understand why they’d want to be secret about the previous activity – like that so-called “investigation” into the LexisNexis activity that caused two employees to be suspended and publicly vilified.
But recruitment of a new HR Director shouldn’t be something you’d think the Commissioners would want to keep secret. But after all this time and all their previous actions, after 4 months, all the public’s gotten is a huge, ongoing bill and a 2-second answer on the progress of a search for a new employee.
And they want to talk about respect?