County Administrator Rob Slocum and Chief Operating Officer Jim Hovis have flubbed the 2018 state of the county address, causing the annual affair to be pushed back to April, according to four sources inside Washington County government.
County employees reported to A Miner Detail that Slocum and Hovis believe they are “severely understaffed” and cannot pull together the annual address, which is typically held the first Tuesday in February at Fountain Head Country Club and is hosted by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce.
“Mr. Slocum has proven time and again that he is incapable of carrying out the responsibilities of his administrator position. The county administrator is in way over his head and simply cannot do his job,” one county employee told A Miner Detail on background.
“Many county employees are not confident in his abilities and have lost confidence in his leadership,” the source went on.
According to another source inside county government, Slocum and Hovis have failed to assemble a report that invariably accompanies the state of the county address, which has caused the state of the county’s delay.
“We have no idea what he’s doing or where he spends most of his time. So it’s no surprise to discover that Slocum’s mismanagement has delayed the county’s time-honored state of the county address. And Mr. Slocum will blame somebody else. But the buck stops with him,” a county employee told A Miner Detail on background.
County employees refused to go on the record with A Miner Detail out of fear of professional retaliation at the behest of Slocum and Hovis.
Recently, an email for “sexual harassment training” has been sent to all county employees. Some county employees who spoke to A Miner Detail question the timing of the email’s release.
“By the time it happens it will be a full year since Sprecher’s complaint was filed, and a full six months since the report said the county should provide sexual harassment training,” a county employee told A Miner Detail.
Another county employee griped,
“Remember, the county said sexual harassment training would happen as quickly as staff could get to it. Amazing that now it will happen in time for the state of the county address that was moved to April and just before the June primary. Slocum and his top lackey, Hovis, will now try to take credit for doing something.”
County employees also expressed their displeasure with Hovis’ recent appointment as the county’s chief operating officer, calling him “unqualified.”
One county employee said of Hovis:
“The COO job requires a bachelor’s degree with a master’s preferred; Slocum wants Hovis instead because he will do whatever he wants him to. Hovis is walking around saying he is Slocum’s enforcer. That is all he is good for. He’s also telling county employees that he will run the county like the military, and he is already cutting down current and former employees.
You mean there is no one out there qualified to take a high-level position such as this that can help protect the citizens? A high school diploma is okay if you have the experience to compensate, but when agencies look in, they see nothing at the top now. This is poor government. Commissioners blindly making bad decisions.”
Mr. Slocum does not respond to A Miner Detail’s repeated requests for comment.
*Photo credit: Herald-Mail Media*