Wednesday, April 18, 2012

County: Employees must aim for excellence

Leaders work on 2013 ‘vision statement’

Express Staff Writer

Blaine County commissioners agreed on Monday that both elected officials and county employees would be expected to strive for excellence in the upcoming fiscal year.

The county has begun hashing out a "vision statement" for fiscal 2013, in an effort to focus the county's funding priorities. This was the second of a series of workshops meant to establish the county's main priorities, which will determine how departments and outside agencies are funded.

The county is following what is known as an "outcome-based budgeting" process. County Administrator Derek Voss introduced this budgeting method in 2010, which bases funding on how well the goals of county departments or outside organizations align with the county's priorities.

But choosing those priorities became a tricky situation during Monday's meeting, as commissioners were faced with choosing a dozen top priorities from a list of 40 objectives.

Commissioner Tom Bowman questioned the objectives as a whole, saying that many were vague or had no clear call to action involved. He said many are more like guidelines than goals, and called them "platitudes" before clarifying what he meant.

"When I say 'platitude,' I mean something that's valuable, but I don't know how to act on it," he said. "What are we trying to accomplish?"

Voss said many of the objectives, such as "striving to exceed expectations" and "utilizing a stable, transparent and repeatable budget process" are meant to be goals that department heads, not the commissioners, determine how to achieve.

"It would be [their] responsibility to show you the 'how,'" Voss said.

But department heads present said they did not think the current list was either usable or helpful. GIS Program Manager Joel Hall said during the meeting that he knows what his department does, but has a hard time trying to match its goals to those of the county's.

Holly Carter of the Blaine County Sheriff's Office said the list needs to be condensed.

"It kind of loses its focus," she said.

The commissioners eventually agreed to see if all departments could agree on one top priority for the upcoming year—modeling excellent government, for example, or balancing the budget—while considering all other objectives on an equal basis.

The budget process will continue at noon Tuesday, April 24, at the Old County Courthouse in Hailey.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.