The Associated Press story was rather short, if not particularly sweet for some people:
“Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed an executive order consolidating the functions of state agriculture agencies.
“The Republican signed the order Tuesday to move the Animal Health Department and livestock commissioner within the Kansas Department of Agriculture. It creates the animal health division within the agency, headed by the animal health commissioner.
“Brownback also transferred the State Conservation Commission and commission executive director to the agriculture department. The commission will fall under the agency’s conservation division and be led by an executive director.
“The final move puts the Agriculture Products Development Division within the Department of Commerce and renames it the Marketing and Promotions Program.
“The moves become effective July 1 unless either legislative chamber objects.
“Brownback has issued a series of reorganization orders in effort to streamline government.”
We’ve been seeing stories like this since the new governor was sworn into power last month.
Sometimes people are modestly pleased. Other times they are really ticked off. A lot has to do with whose ox is getting gored.
But let’s be honest. You can’t cut government without cutting government.
Back in the mid ‘80s and the ‘90s, private enterprise did the same thing.
Departments were brought together.
Positions were either removed by firing or through attrition. When a position opened, it usually stayed open. The size of businesses, the ones that paid living wages to heads of households, continued to shrink. Fewer positions existed. Those who stayed on the job got new responsibilities and did more for, effectively, less. It was a major restructuring of the way private enterprise did business and it still affects most of us in the private sector today.
The deal changed.
And it really doesn’t matter which sector of private business you consider, at least in this part of the world. You will hear the same thing.
The deal changed.
It had to. That is unfortunate. It was difficult for those who made the changes and for those whom the changes impacted.
But it happened.
Now, it’s happening in state government.
It needs to happen in federal government. Oh my, how it needs to happen!
At the VERY least, our federal departments need to allow positions to stay open, need to spread around the work load, need to expect the same level of cooperation that business got from employees starting 25 years ago.
It’s not too much for us to ask.
After all, we pay the salaries.
— Chuck Smith