Who needs plans? Just make sure you get the last word in

If he ever hopes to be a “stable genius,” like his mentor in the White House, he needs to tweet more.
After all, Gov. Jim Justice apparently has already got the incompetence, confusion and corruption things down almost to a science.
Not to mention having the ranking members of his administration all on the same wrong page as him.
Just a quick look at the current mismanagement of the state Division of Highways is all the convincing we need.
Though we could go down a list of the erratic, bad and corrupt, regarding the DOH we’ll dwell on just two recent observations, this time.
If you ever wondered how the DOH decides on a change in plans for road projects the comments from one of its representative last week are telling. According to the DOH representative to the Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization, plans for projects only last as long as it takes to get someone’s ear higher up.
“ … If the next morning a county commissioner from Wood County or a city councilman in Kanawha County calls up (Department of Transportation) Secretary Byrd [White] and says, ‘Hey, I got a question,’ then guess what? All the information that I had, that I thought I knew, it’s no longer valid. It happens routinely. Every day. Every county.”
Furthermore, orders from Charleston not only change routinely, but without explanation, or seemingly, any process.
If that evaluation is the last word on the DOH’s decision-making process then it answers a lot of questions. Especially why the DOH seems so out of step and out of touch with its districts’ and county supervisors’ needs.
The idea of echoing what the last (powerful) person you spoke to said is not just a sign of inconsistency but of acting on whims, rather than plans and policies.
This management style is also not a transparent process and often unfairly overrules many stakeholders and undermines the DOH’s operations itself in the field.
On another front, last week, two former longtime DOH engineers who were already advising the state on secondary road priorities won a consulting contract with the DOH.
Though it’s obvious their $200,000 bid for six months was the low bid — by nearly $50,000 — it also appears the contract was tailor-made for these consultants.
Its specifications called for two employees with a minimum 15 years of experience and “extensive knowledge of the Highways department (division?) management structure and operation …”
But despite the appearance of cronyism and corruption what’s worse is why are consultants needed to do jobs that qualified DOH employees should already be doing?
Perhaps with enough access to the right person, who’s to say, someone might repave your driveway, too.

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