Dustin Chapman, who is up for the newly proposed post of County Administrator – starting salary $90,000 per year, up from $75K – started in 2010 for $15 per hour
“Fire the personnel department. Don’t just stop there. Remodel the building, so they can’t even find the place where they used to work…” – Robert Townsend, “Up the Organization”
Waco – County Judge Scott Felton spoke in glowing terms of his proposed move to elevate former file clerk and grant writing specialist Dustin Chapman to the post of County Administrator.
In a budget workshop, Felton said that the proposed salary of $90,000 yearly is worth “about half” what a similarly qualified candidate would make as an “executive vice president” of a bank, or the “chief operations officer” of a CPA firm.
With his Baylor law degree and his experience in county government, Chapman will receive a $15,000 per year increase from his present title of “Chief Administrator.” He’s not alone. The Human Resources Coordinator is up for a yearly increase that is just a whisker under $10,000.
As County Administrator, if the new position is in fact created, Chapman would have direct responsibility to each of the members of the Commissioners’ Court to coordinate with each department head of the county government.
Judge Felton said the new position would be similar to that of a City Manager, a radical departure from the more traditional, more rural and less citified, role of the Commissioners’ Court, as defined in the Texas Constitution.
To a man of the law, words, their exact definitions, really matter.
Recently, an Assistant Attorney General delivered an opinion that if Chapman is acting as an administrator, then his status as an attorney who serves the Commissioners Court is not subject to the attorney-client privilege that renders all matters involved totally confidential.
Hence, we of The Legendary, were allowed to know and inform the public that the records of an alleged sexual harassment claim between a student nurse and the Jail Doctor were off the record not only to ourselves, but to the members of the Commissioners’ Court – and to representatives from other media.
When Commissioner Lester Gibson quizzed the Judge about whether the position will be advertised in order to allow others an “equal opportunity” to compete for the position, he received his response couched in the semantics of ceramics, in the dialect of high glaze, shining on under the fluoescent glare of the overhead lamps.
“What did the lawyers say? They all right with it?” Gibson asked. Felton’s reply was rather vague, emerging from the fog with what sounds like a weakly enunciated “Yeah…” or something like that.
One may judge for himself by listening to the video furnished by the Court: