Leavenworth St. has learned that, contrary to reports in today’s Omaha World-Herald, candidates for the new Douglas County Election Commissioner have already been decided on and interviewed by Governor Pete Ricketts.
Some have suggested that the statement in the OWH by the Ricketts office that they are “accepting applicants”, is a sham.
As reported in the OWH this morning, Dave Phipps, the current Douglas County Election Commissioner was told by Governor Pete Ricketts that he will NOT be re-appointed for the position in the new term beginning in 2016.
Phipps stated in the article that Ricketts, “let him know a couple of weeks ago that he planned to appoint a new election commissioner.”
The article goes on to state that…
…the governor “is accepting applications” for the post, and has “not announced who will be appointed to the position.”
Well, they got the “not announced” part right.
As noted in today’s earlier post, it would be very late for the average person to send in a resume, prepare for an interview for the job, accept it and then, if employed, give time to transition away from the old gig.
And it looks as if that does not really matter.
Did you see where to “apply” for this open position? (No.)
Were names given of who would be in charge of that? (No, but it’s Kathleen Dolezal.)
Were websites given? (No, but it’s the Boards and Commissions website.)
Any phone numbers or email addresses for applicants?
No. Of course not.
Because the applicants have already been decided — and interviewed.
Leavenworth St. has learned that there are currently 4 or 5 applicants for the position. A number of them do not fit the current trend of Douglas-Sarpy-Lancaster Election Commissioner being a young, energetic up and comer. In the past number of years, the job has NOT been a spot for someone who is at the end of their career, looking for one last gig. But that seems to be what is being considered very seriously.
And further, it is quite obviously a closed process. While this is an appointed position by the Governor, it is not exactly like a cabinet position. The County Election Commissioner is not giving advice to the Governor. The Election Commissioner is taking care of the sacred democratic process for the public. One would not think of this as some sort of patronage job.
But that is the way it currently looks.
And oh by the way, what if the OWH hadn’t asked about it?
Were releases sent out to the radio and TV stations?
Was there info about the job on Nebraska.Gov in bold lettering?
No, not so much?
It is unfortuante that Dave Phipps has gone out this way. If the Governor planned on canning him, he could have let him know months and months ago. Instead it all goes down at the end of November, a month out from knowing what would happen next.
It is surprising the way this is happening…but maybe not so much.
And once again, good luck to the person who finally gets the Governor’s nod.
And for the voters.
Taylor Gage, Public Relations Director for Governor Ricketts, responded to a request that to date, six people have applied for the Douglas County Election Commissioner job.
Taylor lists the following applicants:
- Emmett Champion
- Thomas Sisson
- Christopher Chappelear
- Steve McCollister
- Brian Kruse
- John Seiler
Gage did not list Dave Phipps among those applying for the position.
The job is posted on on the aforementioned Boards and Commissions website — in a PDF entitled 2015 July – December Boards & Commissions with Positions Listed — amongst 75 other positions on boards or commissions.