Hiring/‘un-hiring’ veterans service officer
Oct 25, 2013 | 135 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print

It looks like some members of the Commissioners Court are having difficulty in knowing/defining what the interview/hiring processes are for county job openings — at least when it comes to Community Affairs. A new Veterans Service Officer (VSO) was recently hired to replace Roy Galvan who was promoted to director of Community Affairs. The most recent interview committee was comprised of Commissioners Rodriguez and DeWitt as well as Galvan. Galvan and his predecessor were hired using this process. In fact, Galvan’s predecessor had Rodriguez as an interview committee member also, although during the special called meeting on Oct. 18, he denied knowing any of the particulars. At this same meeting, he again expounded on his displeasure with the outcome of the process he was closely involved with.

This time he also gave his opinion as to what a proposed VSO should be doing as a private individual to even be considered as a candidate. This is his opinion, NOT a requirement of the job. Now we find that the Commissioners Court should have been doing the interviewing and hiring of VSO’s all along. Looks like a lack of due diligence on their part. Two-term commissioner Rodriguez should have especially known this as he is the self-proclaimed “go-to” commissioner for anything veteran. The individual that was hired as the Bee County VSO has been “un-hired” according to Judge Silva and may have grounds for a lawsuit. Galvan is still being required not only to run the department but must also provide services to veterans without any assistance whatsoever. Due to the historically small number of personnel assigned to this department (two-three individuals) and the large and varied workload, the VSO is by necessity required to assist with other services that the department provides to all citizens of the county.

That being the case, the department director should be a part of the hiring and interview process as they have to consider all aspects of the job, NOT just VSO related work—that must be done by the individual hired. Rodriguez has no real idea of what transpires day-to-day within Community Affairs. I can’t remember his ever coming to the office to observe what kind of work was done, no “ride-a-longs” during inspections, nada. (DeWitt on the other hand is the former department director.) Rodriguez may say that this isn’t his job. I beg to differ. Don’t you think members of the court should have some idea of what county departments do? Looks like this most recent “dust-up” is occurring because Rodriguez just doesn’t like the way the entire process — that he was an integral part of twice — was carried out and its outcome. Why not remove the VSO from Community Affairs and set them up in the courthouse where they can be under direct day-to-day supervision of the court, maybe even Rodriguez? However, if this is done, that individual must be replaced. Community Affairs needs at least three people to carry out the department’s mission, “To Keep Bee County Safe and Clean for Present and Future Generations.” 

Ron Fritz,

Former Director of the Bee County Community Affairs Department
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