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Outsourcing middle income jobs is not good for our county

Letter to the Editor

 


Over the past three years, the current county commissioners have outsourced jobs to contractors in other counties. I assume they want to reduce the size of government and lower expenditures. But this has very negative outcomes on all of us.

Okanogan County has the lowest annual income average of its citizens, the smallest population and largest land mass of any of Washington’s counties. Does it make sense that decent middle-class salaries of county workers are sent to and spent in other counties? We don’t like this type of action when big business outsources jobs to Asia, so why should it be OK to do that here? We need these people as taxpayers and economy generators.

In 2013, Okanogan County spent approximately $171,000 on weed control, and 81 percent was done by county workers.  In 2015, the county spent $212,300 on weed control, and 81 percent was contracted out to a firm in Wenatchee.  Same number of roads, same type of work, and almost a 24 percent increase in two years for an outside vendor. Is this smart money management?

The commissioners’ consideration of outsourcing juvenile detention services would have resulted in the loss of between nine and eleven professional middleclass workers in our county. All that money and those jobs would have benefited a Montana corporation, not us. Do you agree with this?

Instead of using a human resource director for employee issues, the county now pays a Yakima lawyer up to $110,000 per year for legal advice that could be provided by an HR director. This is in addition to an HR director on payroll.

The County Public Works Department used to maintain all their vehicles, and now this work is outsourced to a Wenatchee firm.

We need jobs and the associated revenue to stay in Okanogan County.

 

Sharon Sumpter

Winthrop

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